I had a long time employee retire we threw a retirement party. Yesterday I received a letter from an attorney saying that the employee is looking to sue me for age discrimination. What do I do?
We live in crazy times. Unfortunately our office spends more time than I would like to admit defending clients from aggrieved former staff. To get the particulars, we will have to spend time together and discuss a defense strategy. But, to respond generally, you can fire anyone for any reason, except for a discriminatory/protected reason. Here, by the facts, it sounds like the employee retired. Had a party. Perhaps you have a photo from the party... So, the question is, does the employee have any grounds for a constructive termination claim that s/he was forced out because of age?
We will have to discuss further to garner more facts and to ensure that you have no exposure. When faced with a claim by an employee or former employee it’s important to provide immediate access to counsel so we can gather as much support as possible to defend you, and try to close any challenge out as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Most employment claims are unsubstantiated nuisance value; an unfortunate cost of doing business in the current temperature. Letting a claim of this sort fester is a bad idea. It is important to get your position out there, fast. I am sorry that you’re having this aggravation. We are here to assist. Photos of the retirement party are going to help!