Age should not be a defining factor in whether to continue to keep an employee. As long as the worker is able to continue to perform the essential functions of the job, there should not be an issue. However, there are occasions when a company may feel that a worker has lost his or her value to the company due to age, resulting in the employee being fired unjustly. That appears to have been the case for a West Virginia man who asserts that the only reason he lost his job was because of his age.
The plaintiff worked for Coal River Mining LLC in various positions. He was a miner operator and then became a dispatcher. He claims that his employer wanted to be alerted when federal and state inspectors were coming in for a visit. According to the plaintiff, he did not believe that it would be legal to alert his superior in advance, and refused to do it.
He also claims that he was called an "old man" on numerous occasions. Additionally, he asserts that he was also asked when he was going to retire. The company stated that the reason why he lost his job was because of the economy. According to the plaintiff, his position was later filled by a much younger worker.
The plaintiff believes that he was fired unjustly and the true reason for his termination was because of his age. In his lawsuit, he is asking for legal fees, monetary damages, lost wages and to be returned to work. It is illegal for a West Virginia worker to be fired because of any legally protected status. Should an employee believe that he or she was terminated for such a reason, a civil complaint may be filed against the employer. Based upon evidence of the discrimination, the claimant could receive financial relief as well as possibly be reinstated in appropriate circumstances.
Source: The West Virginia Record, "Miner alleges age discrimination, wrongful discharge", Annie Cosby, Oct. 14, 2014