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MY BOSS SAYS . . . he's terminating me because of the quality of my work, but my work has always been excellent. I think he's discriminating against me because of my age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") prohibits age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. If you are under 40, the ADEA does not protect you. The ADEA only applies to employers with 20 or more employees.

Under the ADEA, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Age discrimination cases, however, can be more difficult to prove than other types of discrimination. This is because an ADEA plaintiff must show that age was the determinative factor behind his or her employer's actions without which the employer would not have taken the action it did.

If you are 40 or older and believe you have been discriminated against because of your age, you should discuss your situation with a qualified employment law attorney. This is especially true if your employer has made clear statements evidencing age discrimination such as, "You're too old for this job," despite your solid performance record.

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