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Can forced retirement happen lawfully?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Employee Rights, Employment Law for Employees, Workplace Discrimination |

Retirement is often a heartwarming occasion for employees, allowing them to look back at their professional lives and receive appreciation from long-time colleagues. Unfortunately, these employment decisions could have hidden agendas, such as when older employees are subject to forced retirement.

This type of retirement happens when an employee at or nearing retirement age ends their employment involuntarily. It usually stems from age discrimination, which is why the law has provisions protecting older workers from forced retirement. These protections could take effect if the employer took measures to target these employees for unethical reasons, making them quit their jobs. Still, there are times when it can be lawful, such as in these scenarios:

  • The employee is eligible to retire and sustained a disability or illness that made them unable to continue working.
  • The employee can no longer perform their job effectively and safely because of their aging physical condition.
  • The employer offered better benefits for early retirees, which the older employee accepted without issues.

The element of choice is often the defining factor that could help determine whether forced retirement is lawful. Addressing legal concerns involving these incidents could happen on a case-to-case basis because the presence of violations typically depends on the circumstances.

Exercising rights amid forced retirement

An employee could have various reasons to refuse retirement, such as loving their job or having unfulfilled financial obligations. Sometimes, they might need their job because they feel unsecured, lacking financial stability supplemented by their regular paychecks.

Regardless, employees can rightfully choose when they want to stop working. If they face pressure to retire, seeking legal counsel could be helpful. Experienced guidance can help determine the most beneficial options based on their situation.