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Illustrative image depicting a potential age discrimination situation in a new york city workplace

Age Discrimination is Illegal in New York Workplaces

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Age Discrimination Law Cases.

Age Discrimination in New York State

Have you been a victim of Age Discrimination at work in New York City or in the State of New York?

Ageism is ubiquitous and there are certain industries that are notorious for favoring youth over experience! The prejudice is everywhere, and you don’t have to look too hard to find it.

Illustrative image depicting a potential age discrimination situation in a new york city workplace

Illustrative image depicting a potential age discrimination situation in a New York city workplace

What To Do If You’ve Been Discriminated Against Because Of Your Age

So, what can you do if you feel you have been discriminated against because of your age? Knowing your rights is a very good start!. New York and Federal Law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers over 40. The Federal law, also known as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (or “ADEA”) makes it unlawful for an employer with 20 or more employees to use age as a negative factor in hiring, promotion, or any other term or condition of employment.

How do you prove age discrimination?

The U.S. Supreme Court has made proving age discrimination under the ADEA extremely challenging. In a 2009 decision, the Supreme Court held that (unlike every other type of discrimination) it is not enough for an employee claiming age discrimination to show that bias was the “motivating factor” for the adverse action at work. Instead of motivation, the employer must prove that age was the only factor in the employment decision—i.e., that the decision (failure to hire, failure to promote, or discharge) was made because and solely because… age!

What about damages?

Damages for age discrimination are also limited under federal law. Emotional distress damages and punitive damages are not possible. However, an employee who proves discrimination in violation of federal law is entitled to an award of “liquidated damages” equal to the lost wages she recovers. For example, if a victim of age discrimination is out of work for a year and loses $300,000 due to an unlawful termination, they can recover $600,000 from their former employee should they prevail in their claim.

Employees often ask, “how do I prove age discrimination?” The answer is that age bias can be proved through anecdotal evidence (for example, comments) as well as through statistics (for example, data showing that older workers are denied promotions or laid off at disproportionate rates), or a combination of both.

Obviously, in age discrimination claims, as in most employment cases, the key evidence of discrimination will be in the company’s possession. A successful age discrimination suit requires skilled counsel who can obtain the evidence from the company while in court mandated discovery.

If you believe that age played a key or determinant factor in unlawful practices against you, contact us and set up a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case!

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