New York City age discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown have seen an increase in age discrimination cases in New York and nationwide. Age discrimination is prohibited in the workplace by various laws at the state, federal and local levels. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Older Workers Benefit Protection Act along with New York State Human Rights laws protect older employees from unlawful discriminatory behavior.
Under federal law, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers who are 40 or older. Under this law, employers are prohibited from changing the terms conditions and privileges of employment based on age.
What does this mean in practice? It means workers 40 and over are protected from discrimination in the following areas: hiring, training, firing, comp, benefits, work assignments, promotions.
Workers over 40 are also protected under the ADEA from retaliation should they complain about discrimination.
The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) amended the ADEA in 1990. This piece of legislation was created specifically to prohibit employers from excluding older employees from benefits. Benefits that are offered to younger workers must also be offered to older ones.
The ADEA only applies to employees who work for private employers with at least 20 employees. It also covers state and local governments, labor unions and employment agencies. Like the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, and other federal anti-discriminatory legislation, in order to bring a federal lawsuit under the ADEA, you must first file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
New York State Human Rights Laws (NYSHRL) and New York City age discrimination laws apply to any private employer with 4 or more employees. Thus, New York protects a much greater number of workers than the federal law does.
Age discrimination in New York City may be subtle or blatant. Either way, an innocent, hard-working victim may suffer. Employers often try to justify or mask age discrimination by pretending there is a legitimate business reason for the discriminatory decision. The following may be examples of age discrimination:
Biased comments: These would be an obvious sign of age discrimination or harassment. If your boss is calling you “old man”, “grandpa” or telling you that you are “too old for the company culture” you may have evidence of age discrimination.
Favoritism: Pay attention to how your boss treats younger co-workers. If he or she only invites young people to lunch, gives them newer equipment or excludes you from meetings, it may be a sign of discrimination.
Promotions: If you are qualified for a promotion but are passed over for a younger and possibly even less qualified employee, it may be discriminatory.
Firing and hiring: Compare the treatment of older and younger workers when it comes time for layoffs, firing and hiring. Is there a pattern of hiring younger people? Are the older workers being disproportionately laid off?
Harassment: Consider how you are treated at work. Are you being made to feel uncomfortable? Are you being called names or being pressured to retire?
Negative Reviews: If your reviews have suddenly gone from positive to negative, you may want to think about whether or not your age has something to do with the change and not your actual work performance.
If you think you may be the victim of New York City age discrimination, be sure to keep records. If you are being made fun of or harassed, write down the dates, times and people involved. You may want to report the problem to human resources. Your employer may try to argue that what you perceive as discrimination is not. For example, your boss may say that he does not ask you to lunch because you have been bringing lunch every day for 30 years. Your manager may claim that you were fired because you made several errors on a project recently and the other team members had to fix it.
These issues can be complex, and our experienced age discrimination lawyers in New York City and Long Island are here to help.
Before you do anything, you may want to speak with seasoned age discrimination attorneys like the attorneys at Leeds Brown. We can help determine if you are being discriminated against because of your age and work toward remedying the situation. You may wish to file a lawsuit for monetary damages you have suffered or seek reinstatement to your job. Regardless, it may help to have someone with experience advocating on your behalf and helping to carve a path to secure the best outcome.
The age discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown can be reached at 1-800-585-4658. Call us for a free consultation.