Proving an Age Discrimination Complaint

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Proving age discrimination, like any other case is often the most difficult part of the problem.  Talking to your employer first may resolve many issues and clear up any misunderstandings.  At the same time, you should be taking these steps to protect yourself and help you prove your case:

Document the Problem

Gathering documentation is your best defense. Take notes of key conversations and events, including the time, date, and names of others who were present.

Gather documents that might support your side of the story, such as company policies, offer letters, performance reviews, memoranda, emails and other correspondence, or employee handbooks.

Be careful, however, to collect only those documents you have legitimate access.  Taking or copying confidential documents -- even if they are related to your dispute -- could get you fired and could compromise your legal claims.

If your coworkers saw or heard any of the incidents that contributed to the problem (such as a verbal performance review, a harassing comment, or a search of your workspace), ask them to write down what they saw and heard in signed, dated statements. Co-workers may be more willing to help with you if you advise them that the adea group protects them against retaliation.

Do not Miss Legal Deadlines -- If your employer does not seem to be taking your eeoc complaint seriously, or you are demoted or fired, consider whether file a charge with the EEOC.  There are deadlines that have to be met in filing a charge.  An adea age discrimination charge must be filed with the EEOC before you can file suit in court.

Getting Help with Age Discrimination

Consulting with a eeoc age discrimination lawyer can be very helpful at this stage.  An experienced employment lawyer can advise you as to what types of documentation would be best for proving your case.  They can also give you information on how to gather the documentation in a manner that would be effective for court.  Remember this is a complicated area of the law.  The earlier you seek legal advice the more likely you will have a successful claim.  Many employment EEOC lawyers take these cases on a contingency basis.


Proving the case is the most difficult aspect of age discrimination claim.  Try discussing the problem with your employer first.  At the same time, document the problem.  Keep notes of meetings, events or performance reviews.  Make copies of documents to which you have legitimate access, keep copies of emails, letters, offers, etc.  Ask co-workers who may have been a witness to document in writing what they saw and heard. Most importantly meet legal deadlines and seek legal counsel early in the process to increase your chances of success.