Many people get jobs when they are teenagers and continue to work well into advanced age. Employees of all ages should be evaluated solely on their work performance, but it is an unfortunate reality that many people are mistreated at work because they are deemed too old to do their jobs. If you were fired or denied a promotion because of your age, you may be able to pursue a discrimination claim against your employer. At Gerstman Schwartz, our New York age discrimination lawyers are well-versed in what it takes to prove that workers harmed by discrimination deserve compensation.Statutory Protections Against Age Discrimination
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects people from age discrimination. Specifically, the ADEA provides that it is unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire, fire, or otherwise discriminate against an employee regarding pay or the terms, privileges, or conditions of employment because of the person’s age. The ADEA also bars employers from segregating, limiting, or classifying employees in a way that would deny or is likely to deny them employment opportunities because of their age. Notably, only people who are at least 40 years old are protected by the ADEA, and it only applies to employers that employ 20 or more people.
People who work for employers that have four or more employees are also protected from age discrimination by the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) and the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). An age discrimination attorney in New York can help bring a claim under either of these laws. Similar to the ADEA, both laws provide that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to terminate, decline to hire, or otherwise discriminate against an employee regarding compensation or employment terms or privileges because of the person’s age. The NYCHRL also bars employers from advising a prospective employee that a job that is available is not due to the person’s age. Unlike the ADEA, the NYSHRL and NYCHRL apply to employees who are 18 or older and protect people against discrimination because of their youth as well.Proving Age Discrimination
Many people subject to age discrimination can pursue claims alleging violations of more than one of the anti-discrimination laws, but the evidence that they must produce to establish liability varies depending on which claims they assert. Under the ADEA, plaintiffs alleging harm due to age discrimination must establish that they fell within the age group protected by the statute and were qualified for their positions but suffered from adverse employment actions. Most importantly, their New York age discrimination attorneys must show that the harmful actions happened under circumstances that induce an inference of age-based discrimination.
For an employment action to be considered adverse, it must materially change the conditions and terms of employment in a negative way. In other words, it must be greater than a minor inconvenience or change in job duties. Additionally, the ADEA requires plaintiffs to prove that but for their age, the negative act would not have occurred.
A plaintiff seeking damages under the NYSHRL faces the same burden of proof as those pursuing claims under the ADEA. The NYCHRL imposes a lesser burden, though. In other words, claimants do not need to show that the action against them was materially adverse, but only that they were treated less favorably than other employees, in a manner that was more than a trivial inconvenience or petty slight.Consult a Skillful New York Attorney
Many people choose to work well into their senior years, and they have the right to do so without fear of adverse treatment because of their age. If you were a victim of discrimination in the workplace because of your age, you should consult a lawyer regarding your rights. The skillful employment discrimination attorneys at Gerstman Schwartz regularly assist people in age discrimination cases in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. You can contact us to schedule a meeting with an age discrimination lawyer in New York by calling our New York City office at (212) 227-7070 or our Garden City office at (516) 880-8170 or by accessing our online form.