Under Federal, New York State, and New York City law, an employer is prohibited from subjecting an employee to certain adverse/negative employment actions due to that employee’s age. These adverse/negative employment actions can include termination, suspension, layoffs, pay decreases, and other conditions of an individual’s employment.
There are a few differences between federal, state, and city laws regarding age discrimination. The federal law that prohibits age discrimination is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA only protects employees and job applicants that over the age of 40. The ADEA also only applies to employers with “twenty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.” There is a time limit to pursuing a claim for age discrimination under the ADEA, and you may have to file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before going to federal court.
In New York, the state law that governs age discrimination is the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). You may file a claim under the NYSHRL for age discrimination in several venues, including federal court, state court, or with theNew York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR), a state-based administrative agency that investigates complaints of discrimination and retaliation. There is a time limit to file a complaint with the NYSDHR.
In New York City, the law that governs age discrimination is the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), administered by the New York City Commission on Human Rights. A benefit of the NYCHRL is that the city law is far more lenient than federal and state law in terms of the standards needed to prove age discrimination.
If you are unsure of how to file a complaint pursuant to the ADEA, the NYSHRL, or the NYCHRL, it may be prudent to contact an attorney. Our firm has experience filing discrimination claims in a successful and timely manner.
You may want to consider reporting age discrimination to your employer through the processes outlined in your employment handbook or contract. If there are no procedures for reporting these complaints, you can report such misconduct to your supervisor or human resources department (if you have one).
Reporting concerns of age discrimination to your employer can be important for several reasons. First, if you do not report it to your employer, they will not be on notice of the illegal behavior occurring in their workplace, and therefore will be unable to remedy the behavior. Second, if you do not report the discrimination, they may not be liable – it could very well be claimed that they were unaware of the unlawful conduct since they never received a complaint. Third, reporting complaints of age discrimination to your employer classifies as a “protected activity.” It is illegal for an employer to subject you to an adverse/negative employment action, such as termination, suspension, warnings or negative performance reviews, to name a few, due to your participation in a protected activity. Once you report the behavior, if your employer takes certain negative actions against you, you may be able to demonstrate that they only did so because of your complaint.
The Long Island and New York City Employment Lawyers at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., have successfully represented victims of workplace discrimination for over thirty years. We work diligently to meet best interests of our clients, and we understand how daunting it can seem to bring a claim against one’s employer. That’s why we’re sensitive to the needs of our clients should they require confidential settlement negotiations, mediation or arbitration, or a jury trial.
It is against the law for your employer to make adverse/negative employment actions against you because of your age. If you feel you are being singled out or experiencing discrimination at work for your age, contact us for a free, confidential consultation. You may have a claim against your employer, but it is important to act as soon as possible. Protect your employee rights, your career, and your rights as a human being. Email us or contact us by phone at (516) 873-9550 or (212) 661-4370.