With troubled economic times, many people are working later into life than before. For members of the Texas workforce who are of an advanced age, the possibility for workplace age discrimination increases significantly. These employees might wonder if their employer can force them into retirement once they reach the age of 65.
Can your employer force retirement at age 65?
Generally speaking, if an employee is still performing his or her job duties, an employer cannot force that employee to retire regardless of their age. While this policy protects most employees who have reached the standard retirement age, there are some exceptions to the rule.
Exceptions to the rule
Not every employee age 65 or above is protected just because they are capable of doing their job. There are some fields in which an employee may have to retire if ordered by their employer:
- Police and fire personnel
- Tenured university faculty members
- Federal employees who work in law enforcement or air traffic control
There are also some situations in which an employee’s pension status can lead to a forced retirement. Executives or other employees who are in “high policy-making positions” are eligible for forced retirement if their annual pension benefits are worth $44,000 or more.
What laws protect older employees?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or ADEA, is the federal law that protects employees over the age of 40. However, the ADEA only applies to employees who work for a company with 20 or more employees.
Filing an ADEA claim to prove employment discrimination is a lengthy legal process that requires a considerable amount of proof. If you believe that you have been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace, including forced retirement, you may want to contact an attorney to help guide you through the litigation process. An attorney may review your claim and look at the history of your former employer in order to prove a pattern of discriminatory behavior.