Younger replacement doesn’t prove age discrimination — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Younger replacement doesn’t prove age discrimination

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Have you ever worried that, after terminating an older worker, replacing him with a younger one might look like age discrimination? That concern is likely unfounded if you had a legitimate, business-related reason for the earlier termination.

Recent case: David, who was over age 60, was discharged from his heating and air conditioning position and replaced with a younger worker. He sued, alleging age discrimination.

But the employer showed that it fired David for tardiness, poor performance and safety violations—all documented with months of warnings. That was enough to get the case tossed out. (Hu v. UGL Services, No. 13-CIV-4251, SD NY, 2014)

Final note: Under federal law, em­­ployees must show that age was the “but for” reason for a termination. Under New York state law, the standard is lower—employees just have to prove that age was a motivating factor.

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