New York City Age Discrimination Attorneys Help Employees
New York City age discrimination attorneys, like the ones at Leeds Brown, have seen the number of age discrimination cases grow year after year, both here and across the nation. As the population of New York ages, many employers try to find ways to get rid of older workers to make room for the younger generation. Some employers are motivated by the desire to save money and others are driven by the desire to have workers who they perceive to be more of the “right kind of fit” for their business.
Regardless of the motivation, employment discrimination against older workers is unlawful and is prohibited by federal, state, and local legislation. If you think you have been the victim of age discrimination, you should speak with the New York City employment lawyers at Leeds Brown.
We have decades of experience representing clients in age discrimination cases and are intimately familiar with the complex federal and local regulations they often involve. You will like the team-based and hands-on approach we use to advocate for our clients. Please, call us at any time to discuss your age discrimination case.
How Does the Older Worker Benefit Protection Act Protect Employees?
In 1967, Congress enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The act prohibits employment discrimination against anyone 40 years or older. In other words, an employer may not refuse to hire, fire or otherwise discriminate against an employee who is 40 or older, solely on the basis of age. An employer may not deny fringe benefits to an employee when the only reason is that person’s age or force all older workers to perform a particular type of job.
In 1990, Congress passed an amendment to the ADEA called the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). The OWBPA makes it unlawful to discriminate against older workers in relationship to employment benefits. For example, an employer generally may not favor younger workers over older ones when offering or distributing insurance benefits, severance packages or incentives.
There are, however, circumstances when employers are permitted to provide different benefits to older and younger workers, but the rules that apply to these situations are extraordinarily complex. It takes experts to decipher the exceptions to the OWBPA and the ADEA. The New York City age discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown thoroughly understand the applicable laws and their exceptions, and can help determine whether or not you have been the victim of a discriminatory employment practice. If you have, we may be able to help secure monetary damages from your employer to compensate you for any losses you have experienced as a result of the discriminatory behavior.
The OWBPA Protects Employees Who Waive Their Rights to File Lawsuits
The OWBPA was also enacted, in part, to address the widespread practice of inducing older employees to sign a waiver, such as a promise not to sue for age discrimination, in exchange for a large severance package. Under the OWBPA, an employee must be given at least 21 days to decide whether or not to sign such a waiver that has been presented to him or her as an individual. If a waiver is presented to a group of employees, each one must be given at least 45 days to decide whether or not to sign it. In both circumstances an employee has 7 days after signing it to change his or her mind.
There are several requirements that a waiver of one’s rights must meet in order to be legally valid. For example, an employer must tell employees that they are entitled to consult with an attorney before signing any restriction on their right to sue. There is a reason for this – the OWBPA was enacted in part to make sure that workers fully understand what they are signing and that they are getting something appropriate in exchange for giving up their rights.
The ADEA, OWBPA, and New York Human Rights Law
Is everyone protected by the federal laws that prohibit age discrimination? The ADEA and OWBPA apply to businesses that meet the following criteria – they must:
- Be engaged in an industry affecting commerce,
- Have at least 20 employees, and
- Have an employment relationship with the claimed employee.
If your employer has less than 20 employees, however, you may still be protected. New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law apply to employers with 4 or more workers. The state and city protections against age discrimination are much broader than the federal ones. For example, age discrimination is prohibited against anyone over the age of 18. Check with New York City age discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown to find out if you are protected by any or all of these laws.
Contact New York City Age Discrimination Lawyers
New York City age discrimination cases are often complicated and confusing. The experienced discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown have the knowledge and background to successfully navigate your age discrimination case. Our collaborative approach means that while we work hard trying to build and prove your case, we can also help you understand the process, the law, and your rights to recover compensation.
If you are a hard working employee who has been the victim of age discrimination or any other kind, you should have the support of people who can protect your interests and hold your employer accountable. Leeds Brown is the New York City age discrimination law firm that can provide you with the strength and advocacy you want when you are trying to win a discrimination case. Contact us today for a fee case evaluation at 1-800-585-4658. Someone is available to take your call 24/7.