The age discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown represent clients throughout New York and recognize the difficulties that can arise when someone wants to file an age discrimination claim against his or her employer. Many employers make it exceptionally hard for older workers to challenge their discriminatory employment decisions, which they often try to disguise as legitimate business concerns.
When older employees are fired, or not hired because of age, their stories receive far less attention than those involving sex, race, and disability discrimination. Unfortunately, our national culture tends to place less value on older workers.
Many victims of age discrimination simply want to work. According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), on average, it takes over 55 Americans almost a year after leaving one job to find another one. Americans under 55 average approximately eight months. Among the respondents to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, more than half of people 50 and older said their job search was difficult.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to workers who are 40 and older and makes it unlawful for employers with 20 or more employees to make firing, hiring or other employment decisions based on age. The Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that oversees age discrimination claims under the ADEA. Despite the agency’s efforts to curb discrimination, age bias and age discrimination continue to negatively affect hiring and firing decisions in New York and across the nation.
The accomplished age discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown understand how subtle age discrimination can be, and we know what evidence to seek to prove that your employer or prospective employer made an unlawful employment decision. We have recovered successful outcomes for thousands of employees over the years, on Long Island, in New York and across the nation, and have what it takes to fight for workplace fairness and win. Speak to the attorneys at Leeds Brown to learn more about your rights to recover damages when you experience age discrimination in the workplace.
The ADEA covers workers over 40 and prohibits an employer from making an employment decision based on age. What types of employment decisions might result in discrimination?
Employment decisions cover the full spectrum of steps the employment process and include:
Age discrimination occurs in different ways. Consider the scenarios below:
*You are a 55-year-old employee, fully qualified for a promotion within the company for which you have worked successfully for 20 years. During your interview for the new position, the panel asks you several times if you understand that the job may require longer hours than your current role, and if you think you might be too tired or jaded to do the job. You reply that you understand and can handle it. The members of the panel persist with this line of questioning despite your repeated assurances. You do not get the promotion. The job goes to a 35-year-old who has less experience than you do.
*You are a 45-year-old sales rep. Recently, your company has introduced new technology designed to help the sales team increase sales revenue and, therefore, commissions. You learn that the department has been holding training sessions for all of the sales reps and your manager has not notified you of a single one. When you ask, your manager tells you that she did not think someone your age would be interested in “apps and computer things.”
In both of these situations, it does appear that the employer may be discriminating against the older employee because of his or her age. If you have found yourself in similar circumstances, consider speaking with a lawyer about filing an age discrimination claim on Long Island.
When an employer does not hire you because you are “overqualified” or have too much experience, is the employer really telling you that you are too old? Maybe – there is no easy answer to this question.
When someone tells you that you are overqualified, the prospective employer is certainly considering the great length of time you have spent in the workforce. It also likely means the employer is thinking about your age. When an employer tells an applicant he or she has too much experience, is it age discrimination?
Consider this: A 59-year-old woman applies for a position as a staff accountant. The applicant has 15 years of experience working as a staff accountant, followed by nine years of experience as the supervisor of an accounting department. This individual is qualified to be a staff accountant. But is the candidate overqualified?
When a potential employer refers to a candidate as over-qualified, the employer is making assumptions about the individual’s preferences or abilities. The assumptions may originate from conscious or unconscious age bias.
For example, an employer may assume that an “overqualified,” older employee may be bored with the simplicity of the work or have difficulty being subordinate to a younger or less experienced manager or supervisor. An employer may assume that an older worker is incapable of grasping or disinterested in learning new technology. In the accountant scenario above, the prospective employer may assume that someone with such extensive supervisory experience would be unhappy with a job as an “ordinary” accountant.
Unfortunately, such assumptions like this negatively impact older, experienced workers who are often the hardest workers and the most eager to find employment.
Overqualified is not the same as unqualified. Under the ADEA and Title VII, if you are unqualified for a job regardless of your age, the employer has every right not to hire you or promote you. If you are over 40, qualified for a job and told you are overqualified, you should consider whether or not you are experiencing age discrimination in New York.
If you suspect you are a victim of age discrimination, the age discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown may be able to help you recover monetary compensation and other remedies. We can expertly and compassionately guide you through the process of filing a discrimination charge with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR), negotiate with your employer or represent your interests in court if that is what your case requires.
Leeds Brown has employment discrimination attorneys who have been practicing on the forefront of age discrimination law for decades and can assist you if you think you have a claim against a prospective or current employer. Our attorneys dedicate their lives to ensuring that older employees in New York City, on Long Island, and across New York State, receive fair and equal treatment as required by law. We take a hands-on, team-based approach to all of our cases, which means you receive personal and professional representation.
If you have experienced age discrimination, contact Long Island age discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown. We can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658. Call today to protect your rights.