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Age Discrimination in the Workplace

long island discrimination attorney - age discrimination in the workplace

Age discrimination in the workplace involves treating job applicants or employees less favorably because of their age. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are 40 or older. In New York, the State Human Rights Law prohibits age discrimination in employment for anyone who is 18 or older.

Age discrimination may relate to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. It is also unlawful to harass workers because of their age.

If you have been the victim of age discrimination or harassment at work, The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, can help you. We can assist you in filing charges through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New York State Division of Human Rights. We can also develop a lawsuit on your behalf that seeks compensation for the losses you suffered due to age discrimination in the workplace.

Call us today or fill out our online contact form for a free review of your claim and advice about your legal rights.

Age Discrimination in the Workplace is Against the Law

Workers in New York who believe they have faced workplace discrimination because of their age may have legal recourse.

The ADEA, which prohibits discrimination against employees over age 40, applies to employers with 20 or more employees. The New York State Human Rights Law, which protects workers 18 years old or older, applies to employers with four or more workers.

Age discrimination laws are meant to ensure that an employer does not refuse to hire or promote a person because of age, or terminate (fire) an employee because of age. The employer must also provide the same terms and conditions of employment to all employees, regardless of age, including salary and other compensation, work assignments, performance evaluations and discipline.

Examples of age discrimination include:

  • Including age preferences, limitations or specifications in job notices or advertisements. This is allowed in the few circumstances where the job has a bona fide age requirement.
  • Denying an employee entrance into an apprentice program because of age.
  • Laying off or recalling employees based on age or seniority.
  • Establishing a mandatory retirement age. This may be allowed in certain executive and high policy-making positions, or in certain occupations.
  • Denying benefits to older employees. In limited circumstances, an employer may be permitted to reduce benefits based on age, as long as the cost of providing the reduced benefits to older workers is no less than the cost of providing benefits to younger workers.
  • Insisting that all candidates for a job pass a physical fitness test though the fitness standard is not required for the job in question.
  • Calling employees age-related names such as “grandma” or “old man,” or asking them about plans for retirement.
  • Allowing a work culture that tolerates ageist jokes, bullying or name-calling.

Legal Action over Age Discrimination on the Job

People who believe they have been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace in New York may file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights and with the U.S. EEOC. The state agency requires a charge to be filed within one year of the discriminatory act. The EEOC requires a complaint within 180 days.

Age bias is the only kind of employment discrimination where a plaintiff can file a lawsuit without first waiting for the results of an EEOC investigation.

A 2009 Supreme Court case, Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., made it harder to prove age discrimination. Instead of merely showing that age was a contributing factor in an employer’s decision against an employee, plaintiffs now have to show that age was the only factor in the decision. This “mixed motive” defense allows employers to defend their actions by demonstrating any other factor that would have led them to the same decision.

Regardless, if you have been the victim of age discrimination, you deserve to be heard. The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, has the experience and resources necessary to take on challenging employment discrimination cases, including those involving age. We can advise you about your rights and assist you with filing a complaint with the State of New York and the EEOC. We can also help you seek damages from the organization that discriminated against you.

An attorney at Cohen & Jaffe can help you compile evidence for a complaint and ensure that your complaint is properly filed. We will then be in position to help you pursue a lawsuit.

Cohen & Jaffe Helps Victim of Age Discrimination in New York

If you have been the victim of workplace harassment or discrimination because of your age, The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, can assist and advise you all the way through the complaint process, including taking care of paperwork and the other details required. We will stand with you every step of the way as we seek justice on your behalf. Our goal is to ensure that you are heard and validated – as well as compensated – for what you have been through.

If you have been subjected to age discrimination in your employment, you have a sympathetic ear at The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. Call us now to speak with one of our age discrimination lawyers, or fill out our online form and we will respond to you immediately.