Age discrimination is on the rise in the United States. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the number of age discrimination cases increased by over 5,000 between 1997 and 2013. That’s the bad news. Fortunately, local, state and federal laws prohibit employment discrimination against certain classes of people. In short, age discrimination is the unfair treatment of individuals who are 40 years of age and older. If you believe you have been the victim of age discrimination, it is crucial to have proper legal representation.
Lipsky Lowe is a premier employment law firm serving clients throughout the greater New York area. Well-versed in the applicable employment discrimination laws, our attorneys have a proven track record of fighting for our clients inside and outside of the courtroom. If you have been the target of age-related bias on the job, we will be the strength in your corner.
What is age discrimination in New York?
Under New York state laws, the New York City Human Rights Law, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), employers are forbidden from committing age bias in the workplace. This applies to most employers with 20 or more employees. New York state law offers more inclusive protection, extending to those who work for a business that employs four or more employees; and the New York City Human Rights Law was recently amended to apply to all employers, regardless of the number of employees.
The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act is a federal law that amended that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. In sum, the Act grants further protections to older workers such as preventing the reduction of benefits based upon age.
Not only does the ADEA prohibit against age-based discrimination by employers, the law also holds them responsible for allowing or failing to address an age-related hostile work environment.
Proving Discrimination in New York
Three different types of evidence are used in age discrimination cases:
- Direct Evidence — Although it is hard to discover, direct evidence may be used to prove age discrimination. This includes evidence that makes it apparent the actions taken or avoided were due to your age. This could include being told that you are not being hired or that you are being fired solely because of your age, or accidentally being copied on an email in which your boss discusses your age with a negative connotation.
- Disparate Treatment — Evidence showing that you were treated differently than other employees because of your age. Examples include a younger person being hired over an older person despite the elder of the two being more qualified, or an older employee being passed over for a promotion or better assignments than a younger, less experienced employee.
- Disparate Impact — Typically involves an employment policy that appears neutral on its face but disproportionately harms an older employee because of his or her age and is not related to any essential job duties.
Nonetheless, most forms of age discrimination are subtle, such as:
- Forcing an older employee to retire
- Refusing to hire an older individual despite being otherwise qualified for the position
- Giving the best opportunities or jobs to younger employees
- Not allowing an older employee new training
- Cutting older employees with the highest salaries before younger ones
- Promoting a younger person over an older worker
- Showing favoritism towards younger employers and preference against older employees
- Pressuring an older employee to retire (constantly asking them about it)
- Threatening an older employee with termination if he or she does not retire
The Challenges of Proving Age Discrimination
Unfortunately, it is not enough to demonstrate that you are 40 years of age or older and that you have suffered an adverse employment action. The Plaintiff must prove under Federal and New York State law that a causal relationship exists between the two (the adverse action was executed because someone is 40 years or older). The test for this is the so-called “but for” test: But for the age of the employee/applicant, the action take or omitted would not have occurred.
The test is lower under the New York City Human Rights Law. All that is required is proving the employee was treated less well because of their age.
How Lipsky Lowe Can Help to Prove NYC Age Discrimination
Our experienced employment law attorneys know how to build a successful age discrimination claim. In particular, there are certain documents that can be requested and utilized to help show age discrimination. This includes:
- Personnel files
- Evaluations, Performance Reviews, Warnings/Complaints
- Medical records
- Security files
- Original resume/CV
- Employee’s application for employment
- Offer and acceptance letters
- Employee references
- Job description
- Progress records
Additionally, there are crucial documents that will be necessary to calculate damages, such as:
- Wage and Salary History
- Stock Options
- 401(k) Plans
- Profit-Sharing Plans
- Insurance Plans
Moreover, our attorneys will obtain oral or written statements of all parties, including:
- Documents regarding the act/omission at issue
- Failure to hire
- Refusal to accommodate
Finally, we will also look to internal decision making memoranda or other related documents, such as:
- Rules, Policies, Procedures, Handbooks, and Manuals
- Documents to understand internal policies governing the issue in question
- Documents which set forth the procedure and substantive rules to be followed
- For a layoff, documents and forms submitted by the Unemployment Office or the EEOC authored by the employee
- For members of unions, collective bargaining agreements
NYC Age Discrimination Attorney
At Lipsky Lowe, our employment law attorneys will leverage their knowledge and skill to make sure your rights are protected. We can help to answer questions, explain you your rights, and advise you of your legal options. Call our office today or complete the online contact form to set up a consultation.
Hands down BEST lawyer goes to Doug Lipsky. He recently help me resolve a claim against a former employer. Mr. Lipsky is extremely hands-on from start to finish and made my experience as smooth as possible. He made an unfortunate situation easier to manage with his full attention and accurate guidance. I’d gladly recommend him to anyone seeking an employment attorney. Thanks again for taking such good care of me!
NYC Age Discrimination Lawyer