As life, work, and the economy have changed over the last several decades, so has the age of retirement. Unfortunately, for many people retiring at 65 is no longer an option in today’s world. Due to this fact, we have seen a corresponding rise in the number of workplace age discrimination cases in the past few years.

Considering people are working well past the traditional age of retirement, employers must be mindful in their succession planning practices and in their communications with their more seasoned employees. It can be very easy for an employer to start what was intended to be a legitimate succession planning discussion with an employee, only for it to turn into an improper conversation about retirement.

Now, whether or not an individual will prevail in a claim for age discrimination will most likely depend on the employee’s status and the motivating factor behind their termination, among other factors. While age discrimination cases tend to be harder to prove than a disability, gender, or race discrimination case, this does not mean that employers should start suggesting that their older employees consider retirement. In other words, put down the engraved plaques and watches, and as always be thoughtful in your communications with employees.

If you feel you have been discriminated against in the workplace because of your age, it is recommended that you seek legal counsel immediately to discuss your options.