Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Age Discrimination?

It is a darn good thing, my husband belongs to a union. When he took those 30 days off, due to my knee replacement surgery, let's just say his supervisor was not pleased. Oh, she gave the usual management lip service, wishing me well, etc. But behind my husbands back, she was not a happy camper. When he came back on July 1, something happened that my husband allegedly did that broke "her protocol." She sent him an official letter, with copies to various higher-ups, stating she wanted to have a meeting with him on Friday, July 19. to discuss this matter.  It stated he should have a union representative with him.

Not any mention of what the charges are.

He asked his other employees; they can't think of anything. No one died. No one was injured. They keep daily logs, so he went back over them, and nothing really happened. So, my husband who does have a heart issue is worrying. I do not like this. I believe if you are calling someone under the rug, you should at the very least, let them know what it is they did. When arrested, at least you have been informed you what you are being arrested for.

The deal is, he is supposed to retire soon. This supervisor is nitpicking every little thing he does and a couple of other fellow employees as well. I believe she is pushing him to retire. So we are also, waiting from CALPERS if he could retire as early as Sept. This is just getting ridiculous. The last day, before he left for 30 days, she scolded him about some nitpicky thing that has been done by others for years. None of them have been scolded. She has it out for him. There have been other incidents, but we didn't keep a log; something I should have told him to do especially since my son, Foodie is the Union Rep. at his place of business. Foodie knows, all the ins and outs and the crap some employers pull. Just this past year, Foodie led his workers out on a strike and when they got back to work, he was fired. Fortunately, he kept a log and with the Unions lawyer threatened them, on some of the charges, with proof.  They soon agreed it was an unlawful termination. They are still on my son's butt. He keeps records and logs everything. He and his union were responsible for getting everyone back pay that they worked, and deserved as well as a decent pay increase. NOPE management was and is not very happy with my son.

My husband works for the State of California. You would think, working for the state, who claims to be for everyone's rights, would be a piece of cake; a cool place to work. WRONG. They are just like any other major employer. They micromanage everything. The good thing, in most cases, unless you have done something absolutely unforgivable, you pretty much can't be fired. So we know, that didn't happen. What they are good at is calling people under the rug, for every little indiscretion and then letting it simmer as it goes through the channels of intimidation until the union steps in. They will push and push.

I hate to see this good man, worry. He tries to hide it from me, and say he is not worried but he's worried it will affect his retirement, which I highly doubt. I just think the b--ch wants him out. They have a 70-year-old still on the job and fighting for hers. She's already filed charges of age discrimination. My husband is only 62. We can't prove discrimination.

I was reading Forbes magazine about the 11 sneaky ways, companies get rid of older employees:
written by Deborah L. Jacobs Forbes Staff

  • 1. One of the most common excuses used to get rid of older employees is “job elimination.” However, that may just be an excuse for what is really age discrimination. If the company is not really eliminating the job, just changing the title and putting someone younger is your former position, you may have an age discrimination claim
  • 2. Layoff. - The company is supposed to attach to a layoff notice a list of other employees included and excluded from the layoff, along with their ages. Employers can be sneaky about the way they put together these reports. Some will show only select departments or specific job titles, which don’t give the whole picture. More often, they’ll include a few under-40 employees to make the bloodletting look less like age discrimination. Still, if you are selected for layoff and younger, less-qualified employees at your level are not, you might have an age discrimination claim. If you’re part of a one-person or small “layoff” and you can show that younger people are not being included, then you may be able to prove age discrimination. 
  • 3. Suddenly stupid.  If, after years of great performance reviews, you’re getting reprimanded for things everyone does or being nitpicked for things the company didn’t care about before, it’s possible that the company is gearing up for what I call the “suddenly stupid defense.” They’re building a case to get rid of you for poor performance – trying to show a “legitimate reason” other than age for firing you. If you’re being targeted for write-ups when younger employees do the same things and aren’t written up, you may have an age discrimination claim. BINGO
  • 4.  Threatening your pension. I’ve seen cases where the company threatened that if the employee didn’t retire right away, it would look for ways to go after that worker’s pension. That’s a scary threat, but it may be a hollow one. First of all, few people have what would be considered a “pension” (a lump sum paid out every month). Most people have 401(k)s or similar savings plans that your employer can’t touch. Your employer may claim that you can lose your right to your vested pension if you’re fired “for cause,” but it’s not that easy. You have appeal rights if they deny your benefits, and you can sue if you aren’t satisfied with the administrator’s decision. If you’re being threatened, it’s time to run speedy-quick to an employment lawyer in your state who handles claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA – the law governing employee pension plans and other employee benefits. 
  •  5. Early retirement. One way employers get rid of older employees is offering a package that includes incentives to take early retirement. Some of these packages are too good to pass up on, so if you are offered one, consider it carefully. If you turn it down, remember you can still be fired at will. However, if the company only fires the older folks, you might have an age discrimination claim. If the early retirement is involuntary, such as when the only alternative offered is being fired, then it probably violates age discrimination laws. 
  •  6. Mandatory retirement age. If your employer still has a mandatory retirement age, it’s probably breaking the law. There are exceptions for firefighters and law enforcement. There is also a very limited exemption for employees who are at least 65 years old, who were bona fide executives or high-level policy-makers for their last two years, and who received an immediate nonforfeitable retirement benefit of at least $44,000. 
  •  7. Cutting job duties. One way to force older employees out is to cut job duties, limiting your authority and humiliating you with low-level tasks. You may have an age discrimination claim if this happens. So don’t just quit in disgust. 
  •  8. Isolation. Cutting you out of meetings, excluding you from lunches, and sticking you in a cubicle far from the action is another way employers try to get older employees to quit. If only younger employees are being included in activities from which you are excluded, this is evidence of age discrimination. 
  •  9. Denying promotions or opportunities for advancement. It’s illegal for an employer to deny you a promotion just because they think you’ll retire soon. Cutting job duties and isolating you are sneaky ways for them to claim you don’t have the experience or qualifications to get a promotion or to advance in the company. If your opportunities are limited after you hit one of those age milestones, it’s time to document what is happening and see whether they are also targeting younger employees for similar treatment. 
  •  10. Cutting hours. Another way to put senior employees under duress is to cut hours to the bone. Starving you to death is a way to force you to quit. Here, too, look around and see if older employees are being targeted. 
  •  11. Harassment. Cutting hours and job duties, isolating you and assigning menial tasks are all forms of harassment. Other examples of age-based harassment are: calling you the “old man,” or “old lady”; constantly asking when you’re going to retire; saying you’re senile; or making other comments related to age.


  1. I had a very incompetent boss one time harass me and I think it was just a power trip. I feel for your husband. I hope it goes well for him. It's such a shame that he so close to leaving and she has to harass him.

  2. I'd be worried too and it doesn't seem right, like you mentioned, that he has no idea what he did wrong so he can prepare for it beforehand. Its good that he does belong to an union and has the backing of that! My hubby is 66 but wants to work a few more years before officially retiring, not just where he is working now. He's having a hard time getting any call backs for jobs he is applying to because although his resume doesn't have his birthday on it (obviously) people can do a timeline and figure out how old he is based on when he started employment here and there. We know they figure he is getting close to retirement age and don't want to consider him and know its age discrimination but hard to prove in his situation.

    Good luck to your husband! If you are comfortable telling about it, do let us know afterward what happened.


  3. Some of the worst bosses are those at middle management. They kiss butt above and kick butt below. Their boss usually has bigger problems than employment issues so they look away and the MM blows up their ego by being a prick along with blaming all their shortcomings on their charges. THE WORST!!

    1. Yep, you've just described his bossy-lady.

  4. I really felt this post in my guts. It's sickening that the employer does this. At our age, we don't want to argue with our employer, we're just trying to get to the end of our employment, do a good job, and enjoy our last working days. Ugh. I hope he gets out before it affects his health. Great post!

  5. This supervisor is more into getting people fired, than anything else. She's always looking to "write" someone up.


Comments are good - I admit, sometimes I don't respond back, in time for a dialog. I bad! I will TRY and do better. Thanks for understanding.

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