As life expectancy in the United States progressively increases, so does the amount of time that someone can stay in the workforce. Skilled workers with decades of experience are paid higher than those who are just starting out in the industry, and rightly so. However, this means that an increasing number of workers over 55 will be let go from their jobs due to budget constraints. Simply because someone is older and released from their job does not mean age discrimination has occurred, and recent Supreme Court decisions, such as Gross v. FBL, have stated that age must be the motivating factor behind the decision to terminate that employee.
Both federal and New York law prohibit age discrimination. Under federal law, if you have a job or apply to a company with more than 20 employees, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits the employer from using the fact that you are over 40 as a factor for the following: hiring, firing, promotion, benefit, layoff, compensation, training and job assignment decisions, unless age is an actual qualification for the position. New York state law applies this prohibition to companies with more than four employees. If you believe that you have been discriminated against based on your age, here are the steps you should take for filing a claim.
Gather Your Information and Seek Help
First, you should gather all of the information pertaining to the alleged discriminatory event.
– You will need the name, address, and telephone number of the business.
– You’ll also need the name, address, and telephone number of your employer.
– Find out the number of employees employed there (if known).
– Write a short description of the events you believe were discriminatory.
– Record when the events took place.
– Document why you believe you were discriminated against (in this instance, because of your age).
Second, although you may file by yourself, you should consult with an experienced attorney. He will be able to save you time, effort, and money by making an initial determination of whether you have been discriminated against because of your age.
File With the Appropriate Department on Time
Next, you or your attorney may file with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or with the New York State Division of Human Rights, depending on the nature of your claim. Normally, you must file within 180 days of when the alleged discrimination took place, but because New York state also prohibits age discrimination, the deadline is 300 days. Contact either of these departments and, if you wish, you and your attorney can schedule an appointment to meet with a representative and explain your situation.
Call a New York Age Discrimination Attorney for Help
Workplace age discrimination cases are often both subtle and complex. If you believe you have been a victim of age discrimination, the law firm of John J. Zidziunas & Associates has a team of New York age discrimination attorneys available to confidentially review your case. For further information, call 973-509-8500, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://employmentdiscrimination.com/.
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