Proving age discrimination or any other form of discrimination or retaliation requires a detailed analysis of the facts and evidence available. Helpful evidence or proof are facts that tend to support the proposition that age, and not other factors, were responsible for the adverse employment action by the employer.
General evidence of employer unfairness or improper conduct is rarely helpful unless such can be attributed to the age of the employee victim. Evidence that courts and administrative agencies typically consider helpful fall into the following categories:
- Comments by decision-makers and managers that show hostility toward older workers or preference for younger workers
- Subtle comments by management that reveal a move to change the direction, look, culture and nature of experience required in positions
- Unwarranted discussions and requests about retirement dates of employees who have expressed no interest in retirement
- Testimony of employees or coworkers that older employees are treated differently by the employer as compared to their younger counterparts
- Termination and discipline trends reflecting that older workers are being systematically replaced by younger employees or subjected to harsher discipline for alleged infractions
- Hiring practices that show that terminated employees, young or old, are being replaced by younger workers. Older job applicants being rejected in favor of younger even though the older workers are willing to accept the same salary as younger, inexperienced workerso Systematic elimination of employment benefits that tend to favor older workers, forcing them to look for work elsewhereo Inconsistent reasons given by management to justify adverse employment actions against older workers
- Newly instituted tests and physical lifting requirements that seem unrelated to the actual duties of the positions, designed to weed out older workers.