Here in Washington, we live in a right-to-work state. Among other things, this means that in many cases employers may legally discharge employees without cause. This can make knowing whether your rights are being violated in a dispute with your employer very difficult. As a Seattle employment attorney, I know that the laws governing the rights of workers are extremely complicated. Earlier this week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release concerning a lawsuit that they filed last November on behalf of Jeronimo Vidals of Houston, TX. Mr. Vidals, a former employee of Metallic Products Corp, a Houston manufacturer, was told that he would have to retire before his 70th birthday according to company policy. Because he did not do so, he was fired on his birthday. The claim of the EEOC is that based on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the mandatory retirement policy was an illegal example of age discrimination, and this week the case settled with an award for Mr. Vidals. Although this case arose in Texas, similar situations happen here in Seattle as well as outlying communities such as Burien
Each legal case is different, especially when it comes to employment law, and the details of a particular case will determine whether a person has a legal claim against his or her employer. The ADEA does make it illegal in most instances, however, for private companies to enforce mandatory retirement ages as pointed out by the EEOC. We at Premier Law Group, understand that many people feel that they cannot afford to “cause trouble” at work by asserting their rights in the workplace. That said, I believe that no one should have to tolerate a working environment in which they are mistreated for reasons such as being perceived by the company as “too old” despite being able to competently carry out the job.
If you have been mistreated by your employer, you should be able to correct the situation. Of course, in most cases, a simple conversation with the person involved, or in some cases a complaint to that person’s superior will solve the problem. If this doesn’t solve the problem: if you feel that you have made every reasonable effort to resolve your dispute, if you have been fired for a reason that you believe is legally questionable, or if the situation at work is beyond the level of what you are willing to tolerate, speak with a Burien employment law firm like Premier Law Group to discuss your options and your legal rights. In many cases, I will be able to suggest a solution to the problem that is more amicable and less time-consuming and emotionally draining than a lawsuit. For a free consultation and a possible solution to your workplace dispute, call me at Premier Law Group at (206)285-1743.