Both Federal and New York Law prohibit age discrimination in all employment decisions including hiring, firing, pay, assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Age Discrimination and Age
While the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only applies to workers who are age 40 or older, New York Law applies to workers 18 or older and therefore protects younger workers from age discrimination as well.
Those who engage in discriminatory conduct aren’t always younger than the victim and can be in the protected category (over 40) themselves. For example, an employee in their 60s can be subjected to age discrimination by an older supervisor or co-worker. Nevertheless, most cases of age discrimination involve workers who are subjected to different treatment because of their age by a younger supervisor.
Age Discrimination and Stereotypes
Congressional reports leading to the enactment of the ADEA found that age discrimination is rarely based on a dislike of older people, but is more likely the result of stereotypes. That is why we find that age discrimination in the workplace is often quite subtle and not as obvious as other forms of discrimination. Examples of conduct or statements that may be evidence of age discrimination include:
- Repeatedly suggesting an employee retire or asking about their retirement plans
- Forcing an employee to retire or threatening them with discharge if they don’t retire
- Comments that a worker “is set in his ways”, “should know better at your age”, or “is reluctant to change”
- Comments that indicate a company’s desire for “young blood”, “a youthful image” or “fresh ideas”
- Layoffs that affect older workers more than younger workers
- A pattern of hiring only younger workers
- Refusing to provide older workers training or advancement opportunities
- Unprecedented poor performance reviews intended to create a paper trail and justify discharge
- Promoting younger workers over more experienced and better qualified older workers
Age Discrimination and Harassment
Federal and New York State law also prohibit age-based harassment. Harassment can take the form of slurs, jokes, and offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s age.
When harassment occurs, it is usually by a younger co-worker or supervisor. However, the law also protects employees from age harassment by someone who is an older co-worker or supervisor and even by people who are not employees of the employer, such as a client, customer or supplier.
Long Island New York Age Discrimination Lawyer
Age discrimination deprives the national economy of productive, experienced and skilled workers and causes profound economic and psychological injury to the individual worker who is victimized by age discrimination.
If you have been the victim of Age Discrimination or Harassment, call or contact us online immediately for a FREE consultation.
The Law Office of Ralph A. Somma
Working to Enforce Workplace Rights
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