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If I understand the situation correctly, only you and other higher paid (also older) employees are experiencing pay cuts. Is this illegal you ask?
Pay actions, based on age alone, are not legal. Reducing the pay of more highly paid emloyees, even if this only includes older workers, is not illegal per se. No less than the US Supreme Court has ruled that employers can make decisions leading to pay cuts or termination of only older workers if the decisions were made for financial reasons and were not age-based.
It may not go down well, but your employer has violated no law. So what to do? I assume your supervisor was acting in good faith when it was suggested you could "get a severance package" so its something to consider.
My advice would be to redouble my efforts on the job, and understand that the alternative to pay reductions could be unpaid furloughs or termination. Be wary of "severance packages". They sound, and feel good for a while, but the payments run out, you've been unable to find another job, can't collect unemployment (usually) during the severancde period. I recommend you hold onto your job for all your worth - it's your most valuable asset in this economy.
I couldn't agree with you more. It's exactly my line of thought. But I will continue to gather data on these cuts to see if there is a pattern.. If there is, I'll look for a contingency lawyer.