Deposition questions you may be asked in your age discrimination lawsuit

In order to prevail in your age discrimination lawsuit, you must present evidence that proves that your age was the “but for” cause of the unlawful employment action taken against you. That is, you must prove that any adverse employment action occurred “because of” your age. Proof that your age was one of many factors motivating the employer’s conduct is not enough to win your age discrimination case. This is a difficult evidentiary standard to meet. Consequently, at your deposition, the attorney for the defendant-employer (i.e., the employer you have sued for age discrimination) will ask questions designed to uncover the nature of the evidence you claim to have that would suggest age discrimination occurred. You can expect to be asked questions like these:

  • Your employment was terminated during a reduction in force by ABC, Inc., correct?
  • You are aware that ABC has had severe financial difficulties during the past three years, correct?
  • As a publicly-traded company, that type of information has been repeatedly reported in the media, correct?
  • Do you have any evidence that the reduction in force decision was done for any reason other than the severe financial difficulties ABC has experienced during the past three years?
  • If so, what is that evidence?
  • Are you aware of any documents that support your contention that the reduction in force was done for other than financial reasons?
  • You have filed a charge with the EEOC and filed this lawsuit alleging that your discharge from employment was motivated by age. Please tell me each and every reason that supports your belief.
  • What documents are you aware of that support your belief?
  • Please identify any witness you are aware of who supports your belief that your discharge from employment was motivated by age?
  • What has that witness told you?
  • You have claimed that younger employees in your department, with less experience and fewer qualifications, were retained during the reduction in force. Who are those younger employees, who you believe were less experienced and less qualified, who were retained?
  • Have you ever seen the personnel files of any of those employees?
  • Have you ever seen the performance reviews of any of those employees?
  • You have seen your own performance reviews and signed them each year, correct?
  • Do you claim that your performance evaluations did not accurately reflect your job performance?
  • How are they inaccurate?
  • Did you participate in the selection process undertaken by ABC to determine which employees would be discharged due to the reduction in force?
  • Do you know how ABC ranked and rated its employees for purposes of determining which employees would be discharged during the reduction in force?
  • You have seen the rankings and ratings of the employees in your department, correct?
  • Based upon your review of those rankings and ratings, what is it within the rankings and ratings that led you to believe that your discharge was motivated by your age?
  • You have alleged that ABC willfully discriminated against you on the basis of your age. What evidence do you know of that supports that allegation?