After decades of devoted service, did your employer let you go because of company restructuring? Did a less experienced and much younger applicant get a promotion you were patently qualified for? If your age was a deciding factor in these workplace decisions, you have been discriminated against – and age discrimination is unlawful in New York.
State and federal laws protect against age bias
The reality is that many older persons struggle with discrimination based on outdated and unfounded assumptions about age and their ability to work. Age bias has been illegal since 1967, when the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) took effect. This federal law protects employees and job applicants who are aged 40 and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, compensation, promotion, termination, or employment terms or privileges.
In addition to federal law, many states have laws that protect against age discrimination in the workplace. In New York, employers with four or more employees must comply with the New York State Human Rights Law. This critical legislation offers protections to people 18 and over from age discrimination in employment, promotions, layoffs, as well as apprentice and training programs.
Legal remedies for age discrimination
Unfortunately, studies show that age discrimination in the workplace is more prevalent than ever. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, over 60 percent of employees aged 45 and older claim they have witnessed or personally experienced age discrimination in the workplace.
If you have been discriminated against or harassed in the workplace because of your age, you have a right to file a complaint. Age discrimination may be commonplace, but it can be challenging to prove without the aid of a New York personal injury lawyer. Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green represents individuals in civil rights claims throughout the greater New York City area. Our attorneys are well-versed in employment and human rights laws and can explain the legal remedies available in your case.
Discrimination based on a birthdate is unlawful
Despite state and federal legislation that safeguards against age discrimination, thousands of complaints are filed each year for just this reason. The workplace is becoming increasingly competitive, setting the stage for harassment and discriminatory actions against qualified individuals based solely on the basis of their birth date.
Age discrimination in the workplace can be blatant or subtle. If you are uncertain whether your situation warrants an actionable claim, it’s a good idea to speak with a civil rights lawyer. You may have a valid claim for discrimination given the following scenarios:
- Your employer terminated older employees with the largest salaries first
- You were denied an apprenticeship or promotion based on age
- You are encouraged to take an early retirement or face termination
- Your employer refuses to let older employees participate in training or develop new skills
- Your employer made unfair wage determinations based on your age
- Younger co-workers are treated differently and receive better benefits
- Your employer creates a hostile work environment with age-based teasing or offhand comments
- Your employer denies a position, promotion or privileges based on your age
The New York Human Rights Law
The protections afforded by the New York Human Rights Law extend beyond the workplace. This law also bars age discrimination in areas of housing, credit, and admission to educational facilities that are non-sectarian and tax-exempt.
If you believe you were the victim of age discrimination in New York, reach out to Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green as quickly as possible so we can review your situation.
As of October 2019, The New York Human Rights Law offers safeguards to more than just full-time employees. Independent contractors, subcontractors, consultants, domestic employees, and individuals providing services under contract are protected against age discrimination as well.
Know your rights – get legal help
Proving you have been targeted and discriminated against because of your age starts with understanding your rights under state and federal law. Keep diligent records of what has transpired and reach out to a personal injury lawyer at our firm.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a complaint with the NY State Division of Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the NYC Commission on Human Rights. Call or text our office to arrange a free consultation.