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Small age difference may support age bias claim

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employees who claim they were fired or didn’t get hired because of age discrimination don’t have to prove that the employee who was hired or retained was younger than age 40. Instead, they need only show that the other employee was at least seven years younger.

Recent case: George Evanoff was an executive who at 50 years old was terminated after his company’s owner died and the owner’s heirs took over. 

He sued, alleging age discrimination. He said his job duties were spread out among several employees, some of whom were almost seven years younger, and one who was 19 years younger.

The court agreed that the case should go to a jury, and said that someone seven  years younger qualified as “substantially younger” under Ohio’s age discrimination law. (Evanoff v. Banner Mattress Company, No. 3:07-CV-1754, ND OH, 2008)

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