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Well, they fired me. Or they say they are going to.
Old 03-18-2022, 08:35 PM   #1
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Well, they fired me. Or they say they are going to.

The title of my post says it all. I posted about this situation 14 months ago, so I saw it coming, but I can't say I'm happy about this.

https://www.early-retirement.org/for...go-107531.html

I'm done June 30, they say. Out the door. No reason given. No performance reviews in 4.5 years. I asked for my personnel file on the day I got the news, and there's nothing in there, basically. Nothing positive, nothing negative. Just my application materials and at-will hiring letter.

The employer has added positions -- a white male who is 42, a man and woman in their late 30s, and person of color in their early 30s who is gender nonconforming. These hires were all in the last two months. I am a 54-year-old white male who will turn 55 in May. These new hires will assume the duties I have been doing the past few years.

The field in question is higher education. It is my third career. My student evaluations are off-the-charts excellent. I learned the news as the students did: when they did not see my name on the fall semester schedule. One student questioned me about it in front of the class. I choked up and told them I've been told I will be terminated. They seemed as stunned as I am/was. Several took that class because they had heard I was an excellent teacher.

At the school, the faculty gets to call the shots, including on hiring and firing. There is no doubt in my mind my termination is a mixture of age, race, and gender discrimination. A year ago yesterday, during a faculty meeting on Zoom when discriminatory things were said, I took a screen shot of a comment by a "colleague" who posted a chat comment that said, and I quote: "I wonder what an employment lawyer would say about the meetings we've been having."

Indeed. Me too.

I had been leaning toward just leaving this highly unprofessional group of people behind, particularly because financially my wife and I are OK and my side hustle is going pretty well. She and I can probably gross 130K a year without too much trouble, which is plenty for us to live on. I have 200K in a 401(k) from this previous employer that I can tap penalty-free under the Rule of 55. In all, we have about 1.9M in retirement savings.

So we're probably OK. But wow ... part of me doesn't want to let this go. I left a lot of money on the table to go to this job (profit sharing, etc.), never dreaming this would be the end. My wife wants me to pursue this more than I do.

Thoughts?

[And thanks in advance.]
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Old 03-18-2022, 08:48 PM   #2
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Go talk to a reputable plaintiff’s side employment lawyer in your state. The non-expert opinions about whether or not you may have a discrimination case from anonymous posters on the forum, as well intentioned as they may be, are meaningless. Btw, before retiring I represented employers in California employment law matters.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:00 PM   #3
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Definitely talk with an employment lawyer or two. Don’t decide you are definitely going to sue before talking with the lawyer. Such a meeting can clarify for you whether suit even makes sense. Then, even if you decide not to, you can be at peace that you didn’t fail to consult on your options and the pros and cons of proceeding against your employer.

I am sorry you are having this experience, although as you point out you’ll be ok financially either way.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:05 PM   #4
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https://www.briskilawfirm.com/califo...ation-lawsuit/

I don’t think you are in California but thought this might interest you. I remember there was another age discrimination case that made the news soon after this one. A firefighter in California.

Good luck and I concur with those who suggested you speak to an employment attorney.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:07 PM   #5
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I was fired today too. Well , more they didn't renew my contract, but I knew it was coming. I have another job lined up. For me, a job is a job. I have 9 more years to go and then I am never looking back at corporate america. I also have a side gig.

Talking to a few attorneys might be worthwhile. They would know best if they can make a case that would amount in a settlement.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:15 PM   #6
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If you have felt, you been wronged for being a victim of discriminatory I would let the law do its thing.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:31 PM   #7
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I was fired today too. Well , more they didn't renew my contract, but I knew it was coming. I have another job lined up. For me, a job is a job. I have 9 more years to go and then I am never looking back at corporate america. I also have a side gig.

Talking to a few attorneys might be worthwhile. They would know best if they can make a case that would amount in a settlement.
Right. Litigation is not "as seen on TV." A decent severance payment would be nice, but that's all I could reasonably expect I think.

And sorry you're going through something very similar. And ... I'm sure you're glad, as I am, to have the side gig.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:33 PM   #8
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It sounds like you are a teacher. In the state i been in teachers have to walk the line for two years and then they it takes congress to get rid of you. Lot of teachers would become coaches for two or three years to get on FOREVER. Now the schools are full of old teachers.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:34 PM   #9
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Right. Litigation is not "as seen on TV." A decent severance payment would be nice, but that's all I could reasonably expect I think.

See an attorney about negotiating a severance package.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:40 PM   #10
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Go talk to a reputable plaintiff’s side employment lawyer in your state. The non-expert opinions about whether or not you may have a discrimination case from anonymous posters on the forum, as well intentioned as they may be, are meaningless. Btw, before retiring I represented employers in California employment law matters.
I had a friend I worked with years ago who started feeling/hearing rumblings like the OP's and immediately went to an employment lawyer to start documenting things. Over time, he also let it be known he had been working with an employment attorney for awhile. He was still there years later when I left! I hope it's not too late for the OP given he's already been terminated.
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Old 03-18-2022, 10:31 PM   #11
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Been there … the anger is real; the hurt is real. I’m very sorry you have it. But my experience is that the anger hurts you more than anyone else, and the sooner you find a way to move forward the healthier and happier you’ll be. A long protracted litigation scratches the scab over and over and over, so unless you find a lawyer who very quickly - repeat: quickly- negotiates you a package, Think carefully about having this drag on and on. Cut your losses and move on, if you can bring yourself to do that. It really is the healthiest thing.
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Old 03-19-2022, 12:32 AM   #12
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If this keeps happening without a fight, it will never stop and it will get worse. And it doesn’t stop with age. If you can stomach the fight, make it painful for them!
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Old 03-19-2022, 12:47 AM   #13
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My MegaCompany freaked out in the business downturn of 2008, and they retired all the 55+ employees and laid off the entry level youngsters. I was 58 1/2 at the time.

We were fortunate to have union style big company termination benefits, and MegaCo. paid out the nose to get rid of us. That included 5 more weeks vacation, 1 year severance pay, a pay supplement equal to Soc. Security until age 62 and ability to purchase healthcare ($415 month for us both) until age 65--and a HSA paid it all.

You're darned right I was glad to sign a hold harmless agreement. Best thing to happen to us.

But unfortunately you're not in that position. I would suggest talking to a tough labor lawyer to see if a few letters can squeeze some money out of them. You seem to have some good grounds for a formal complaint.

Because they're a non-profit is no reason you should be mistreated. Their big screwup is not doing performance reviews on you. Age discrimination is real and those that are guilty need to pay up--something. They left you at a bad time--a little young to retire fully. But either way, you'll be all right.
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Old 03-19-2022, 12:56 AM   #14
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A long protracted litigation scratches the scab over and over and over, so unless you find a lawyer who very quickly - repeat: quickly- negotiates you a package, Think carefully about having this drag on and on. Cut your losses and move on, if you can bring yourself to do that. It really is the healthiest thing.
+1
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Old 03-19-2022, 02:24 AM   #15
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Old 03-19-2022, 04:25 AM   #16
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I'd guess it's the rare litigation where you don't lose even if you win. Suppose they have to rehire you. How much fun would that be? If you get a settlement - after 3 years - how much do you get to keep (vs the attorney?)

Maybe better to plan how you will FIRE on what you have and what will be coming in - but YMMV.
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Old 03-19-2022, 04:34 AM   #17
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I was fired in 2004. I contacted a local labor lawyer and the EEOC. I drove 2 hours for an interview with the EEOC. They said I had a case of gender discrimination, but both asked me how badly I wanted this job, because it would be a long fight. Since the position had ended up being a bait and switch situation, I decided not to pursue it.

Years later, the department chair who fired me was himself fired. He was 67, and it was more of a layoff than a firing. He let it be known he had retained a lawyer and the organization “unfired” him. He retired 3 years later. He was beloved by some and they had a big retirement celebration. I hated the guy. So did the director of the group I joined.

The lesson:Maybe talk to an employment attorney. It could help you keep your job a few more years, even with just a threat of litigation. An empty employee file is a tell. Mine was empty too.
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Old 03-19-2022, 06:10 AM   #18
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I was a Professor for 34 years at a university. I saw some outrageous things. Every time a new administration came in, there were "consolidations of positions" which basically meant firings. It was cleaning house time, and those most likely to go were those with certain unpopular positions and those of a certain age. Luckily I got tenure early on, so I got through ok, but it wasn't pleasant at all to see others let go willy-nilly. If I were you I'd definitely consider a career change. While I loved being a professor, I did not love the chaos that is today's higher education.
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Old 03-19-2022, 06:15 AM   #19
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If this keeps happening without a fight, it will never stop and it will get worse. And it doesn’t stop with age. If you can stomach the fight, make it painful for them!
We don't know what exactly is happening. We've heard one side of the story.
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Old 03-19-2022, 06:38 AM   #20
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Go talk to a reputable plaintiff’s side employment lawyer in your state. The non-expert opinions about whether or not you may have a discrimination case from anonymous posters on the forum, as well intentioned as they may be, are meaningless. Btw, before retiring I represented employers in California employment law matters.
agree I saw a few attornys after something similar happend to me.
got a lot of diff. opinions from the diff. attornys and made my decisions based on that
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