Age discrimination is one of the most insidious forms of workplace discrimination, and a lack of awareness and proper education allows it to run rampant in many workplaces. If a coworker, supervisor, or customer mistreats you because of your age, you may be a victim of age discrimination. Among other things, age discrimination can take the form of a supervisor passing you up for a promotion in favor of a younger, equally qualified colleague, or a coworker making offensive comments about your age.
If you believe you have experienced age discrimination at work, a highly-skilled NYC age discrimination attorney from Joseph & Norinsberg LLC, can help. Our knowledgeable legal team has more than 20 years of experience fighting for NY/NJ employee rights, and we are committed to bringing justice to our clients. Additionally, if discrimination is contributing to a hostile work environment, wrongful termination, or any type of wage & hour violations, please contact an age discrimination lawyer today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
If You Feel You Have Been Exposed to Illegal Age Discrimination in Your NYC Workplace, You Are Not Alone
According to a 2019 Hiscox survey on ageism in the workplace, 21 percent of adults surveyed reported having faced age discrimination at some point in their careers. Shockingly, only 40 percent of those victims filed a charge. Perhaps even more worrying, most filed a complaint with their employer, but less than half filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
These data imply that many workers over 40 either do not know about the legal protections afforded to them against age discrimination or do not feel sufficiently empowered to push back. We are here to tell you that it should not be this way. Your highest earning years should be unfettered by arbitrary and unjust discrimination based on age. An experienced new york city age discrimination lawyer can inform you of your rights and walk you through your legal options.
New York Employee Rights and Protection Against Age Discrimination
Several federal laws exist to protect older workers from age discrimination. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), a current or future employer cannot act adversely against you due to your age. This means that employers cannot fire you, refuse to hire you, refuse to promote you, or reduce your pay based on age. It also means that job listings cannot include an age limit, unless age is a reasonable qualification.
The ADEA only protects those who are 40 years of age or older. However, some states extend protection to people of all ages. New York and New Jersey are such stated, with some exceptions. If you are unsure how the law applies to your unique situation, an New York City age discrimination lawyer at Joseph & Norinsberg LLC can help you determine how to proceed.
What To Do If You Are Being Discriminated Against Because Of Your Age In The Workplace
If you believe you are the victim of age discrimination, the first step is to gather evidence. Age discrimination can be tricky to prove, as it often appears through subtle circumstances and actions. For the most part, however, you must prove that your employer exhibited a pattern of ageist behavior that either created a hostile work environment or resulted in an adverse employment action. For example, an offhand remark like “You’re so set in your ways!” is not necessarily illegal. On the other hand, if your manager consistently passes you up for professional development opportunities in favor of a younger coworker with a similar track record, you may be experiencing illegal age discrimination.
Written documentation, such as copies of email correspondence regarding a raise, is the best evidence. But for incidents that cannot be captured in writing, such as verbal comments, see if any witnesses to the event would willingly give a statement for you to use in your case.
Employees in New York and New Jersey have 300 from the last incident to file a charge with the EEOC. However, the statute runs quickly, so it is essential to act quickly and start documenting evidence as soon as possible to build your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are employers allowed to ask an applicant’s age in an interview?
It is illegal for interviewers to ask an applicant’s specific age, although an employer may ask if an applicant is over 18.
Can my employer force me to retire?
Forced retirement is illegal. With few exceptions, employers cannot set mandatory retirement ages. Some employers do offer their older employees improved retirement packages in order to incentivize them to retire, which is legal and not considered forced retirement.
How does age discrimination hurt employers?
Between 2010 and 2018, employers paid $810.4 million in settlement costs alone for age discrimination lawsuits. In addition to hefty financial penalties, the intangible and equally detrimental costs of age discrimination include:
- Demotivated employees, resulting in lowered productivity, customer service, product quality, and overall work performance.
- A loss of talent and institutional knowledge.
- Missed opportunities to hire and retain workers who possess knowledge, experience, good judgment, and commitment.
Contact A New York City Age Discrimination Lawyer Today
If you are experiencing age discrimination in the workplace, the skilled legal team at Joseph & Norinsberg LLC can help. An initial consultation is free and can help you better understand your rights and responsibilities. Don’t attempt to navigate this stressful process alone; contact an experienced NYC age discrimination lawyer and book a free and confidential consultation through our website today.