Too Old to Rock and Roll

By Jack Tuckner, Esq.


Too young to retire, too old to rehire – that’s the new Catch-22.

45 to 50 percent of retirees report that they retired earlier than they would have liked to, and that could be devastating when you don’t have enough income to last you through your retirement to your death. And unemployment rates for 40 to 60 year olds tend to persist and last way longer than for younger demographics. It is really difficult and frightening to be in a position where you are no longer wanted, in demand, and certainly not with the salary that you grew accustomed to.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act [“ADEA”] is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, or firing based on age decision [factors] if the employee in question is 40 or over. You must file a claim, a charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the location, locale, the district where you work within 180 days, sometimes 300 days, but to be safe (check with your jurisdiction), within 180 days of the last discriminatory act that occurred at work, or perhaps it was the firing. And after 60 days of allowing the EEOC to investigate (such as they do), you are permitted to pull the case out and sue your employer for age discrimination in federal court.

Better though to catch the discrimination before you’re fired–before you have to sue your employer–so that you can complain about it, put it in writing and then stay their hand, or at least provide yourself with additional negotiating leverage, if you have to leave the company altogether.