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Ask the Experts

Proving Age Discrimination During Layoffs

Some steps to take to make your case

Q. I'm 58 and have worked for 21 years at a company where layoffs now seem likely. Recently, two managers suggested I start looking for another job. I realize age discrimination is hard to prove, but what can I do if I need to build a case?

age discrimnation

— corbis

A. Providing evidence of age bias can be difficult, but there are some steps you can take. Be alert to events suggesting ageist management attitudes and keep a log of them, including what the two managers told you. While their advice may have been just a friendly suggestion, it may also indicate use of age in pending termination decisions. If you're laid off and believe it was age-related, consult a labor attorney immediately. Meet filing deadlines for discrimination claims and be aware that resolution of such cases usually takes a long time.

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

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