One type of employment discrimination that tends to make fewer headlines but is happening all too often is age discrimination. This type of discrimination is explicitly illegal under federal law. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits the discrimination of anyone age 40 or older. Those who are discriminated against due to their age may be wise to seek legal recourse.

A 65-year-old woman recently filed a lawsuit against her former employer here in Houston, accusing the car dealership of trying to force her into retirement.

Until just last month, the woman had worked for area car dealerships since 1967, working her way up from a job as an untrained typist to the position of general manager for three dealerships.

According to a lawsuit that has been filed in Harris County, in early April, this woman’s manager asked her to retire, offering her money that she was owed as well as a four-year non-competition agreement.

When she refused to retire, she was fired.

She now intends to work for a competing dealership, but her former employer is reportedly attempting to enforce a non-compete agreement. 

Her lawsuit claims that the non-compete agreement should not be enforced because she was fired without any cause. 

It does not appear that she is suing the company for age discrimination, but rather only to get out of the non-compete so that she can continue working.

Non-compete agreements are quite often not legally enforceable. However, it is generally wise for individuals to seek legal counsel before signing these agreements. When a company is trying to enforce a non-compete agreement, it also may be wise to seek legal advice.

Source: Houston.culturemap.com, “Don’t mess with granny: 65-year-old car saleswoman sues former employer for right to work,” Whitney Radley, May 8,2013