People are working into old age longer than ever before and because of that elder bias (age discrimination) in the workplace is becoming more of an issue with each passing year. Where once seniority was seen as adding worth to an employee, more and more employers are seeing an employee’s age as a burden instead of a benefit.
Age is a protected class under British Columbia’s Human Rights Code and not hiring, not promoting, or firing an employee based on their age is considered discriminatory, as is forcing mandatory retirement on employees. However, proving age discrimination can be difficult. Make sure you collect and save any evidence you can that supports your claim.
Wrongful Dismissal Due to Age
If you have been terminated or laid off from your employment due to your age, it is important that you seek legal advice before signing any release document or exit agreement. An employer may not advise you at the time of termination that you have the right to speak to a lawyer, but you have a legal right to do so, and more often than not it is important you do.
In most cases, an employee is entitled to significantly more compensation than what their employer has initially offered upon termination. There are also many factors to consider other than the amount of compensation offered including benefits, tax implications, and applicable provincial and federal legislation. It can be much more challenging for older employees to find new positions and this is something that needs to be considered.
The lawyers at Taylor & Blair can advise you on your legal rights arising from your termination or lay off, including severance pay and other compensation you are owed.