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New York Court Discusses Evidence Needed to Prove Age Discrimination

June 27, 2021

Many people enjoy working well into their golden years. Unfortunately, however, some employers assume that older individuals are unsuitable employees, regardless of their ability to complete job duties. People of advanced age have the right to work without discrimination, however, and if they are terminated solely due to their age, they may be able to seek damages from their employers. If you were discriminated against at work due to your age, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to a trusted New York employment discrimination lawyer about your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff was hired by the defendant in 1996 to work as a nurse practitioner. In November 2017, when she was approximately 60 years old, the plaintiff was transferred to a new collaborating physician. She asserts that immediately after her transfer, other nurses began targeting her and refused to train her, significantly impairing her ability to complete her job.

She alleged her age was a factor in her unfavorable treatment from her coworkers, as after her transfer, she became the oldest nurse in her department. She experienced other issues as well, like the denial of a designated workspace. She complained about the ongoing harassment but was not offered any support. In April 2019, she was terminated and was advised that the reason for her termination was her supervising physician’s refusal to sign a practice agreement, even though such an agreement was already in effect. She filed a claims, against the defendant asserting age discrimination in violation of ADEA and other allegations. The defendant moved to dismiss her complaint.

Establishing Age Discrimination

Under the existing framework, a plaintiff alleging age discrimination must establish a prima facie case of unlawful acts. In other words, the plaintiff was required to show that she was within the protected age group, she was qualified for her position but suffered an adverse employment action, and that action occurred in a situation that gives rise to an inference of discrimination.

If the plaintiff meets her burden of proof, it is assumed that the defendant discriminated against her, and the burden shifts to the defendant, who must then show that the action in question was taken for legitimate reasons. If the defendant is able to do so, the burden once again shifts to the plaintiff, who must show the defendant’s reason for its behavior is mere pretext. In the subject case, the court ultimately ruled that the plaintiff failed to abide by the procedural requirements for filing an employment discrimination lawsuit and therefore dismissed her claims.

Consult a Skillful New York Employment Attorney

People should not lose their jobs merely because they get older, but sadly age discrimination in the workplace is not uncommon. If you were fired or treated unjustly at work because of your age, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney about your rights. The skillful New York employment lawyers of Gerstman Schwartz LLP are adept at helping people terminated because of age discrimination in the pursuit of justice, and if you engage our services, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. You can contact us to set up a meeting via our online form or by calling us at our Manhattan office at (212) 227-7070 or at our Garden City office at (516) 880-8170.

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