The law states that applies in this case is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and its amendments, that prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older. Under this law, it is clear that when an employer discriminates against an employee due to age, that employee is granted the right to file a claim for damages and/or reinstatement when applicable. If the employer is found to have fired or not hired an individual due to age considerations, that employer can be sued under the law.
In the case at hand, the important matter to consider is whether or not Barbara Boring was indeed discriminated against. She claims that she was fired because she was too old and that this was proven by her “overhearing” her sales manager, Ursula Uptight, saying that she was “over the hill” and should be “put out to pasture. ” Under normal circumstances, proof of such statements would certainly be grounds for filing under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
It must be remembered, however, that in order for a claim to be successful under this law, it is important to establish that the firing or discrimination was pursuant to her being above a certain age. The firing must be reasonably connected to her age thus constituting a violation of the law against age discrimination. The defense of Widget in this case is clear. In order to show that there was no discrimination involved, it must sufficiently and adequately prove that the termination of the employment of Barbara was not due to her age but rather due to the fact that she has underperforming.
It is a further defense if the company can prove that there was a valid reason for the retrenchment due to business reversals or losses as such this would justify the fact that the retrenchment was not arbitrary and discriminatory but rather a valid exercise of business judgment on the part of Widget Company. It must be pointed out, however, that the presumption weighs heavily against Widget and must be overcome with a preponderance of evidence to show they are not guilty of violating the law.