Employment Age Discrimination Lawyer Serving Philadelphia, Mount Laurel and New Jersey
The purpose of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) is to promote employment of older persons based on their ability rather than age; to prohibit arbitrary age discrimination in employment; and to help employers and workers find ways of meeting problems arising from the impact of age on employment. To learn more about employment laws, contact our Mt Laurel Employment age discrimination lawyers today.
If you feel your ADEA rights may have been violated anywhere in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, or if you would like to ask about your rights under the ADEA, please contact our offices immediately at 856-778-9700 to speak with our employment age discrimination lawyer in Philadelphia and Mount Laurel, New Jersey.
Legal Protections for Older Workers
The ADEA protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from being discriminated against because of their age. The person the employee is being replaced by does not have to be under 40 years old though. For example, it would be unlawful for an employer to fire a 63-year-old employee simply because of her age and replace her with a 42-year-old employee. It is not, however, unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because that person is younger.
Protection of the ADEA extends past the point when an employee no longer works for the employer. When post-employment benefits are structured in a way that discriminates against an individual because of that person’s age, such structuring is unlawful.
Signs of Employment Age Discrimination
Age discrimination in the workplace happens when an employer makes a decision regarding hiring, promotions, demotions, or termination based solely on the age of the person. It can be challenging to determine if age discrimination was a factor in a decision, or if someone is favored based on their job performance. Look for specific instances and ways in which your employer was outright discriminatory about your age.
Age discrimination is a serious offense that employers commit more often than you’d think. This information below outlines the basics in an age discrimination case, and when to contact an age discrimination lawyer.
Who does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) Protect?
Under the ADEA, employees and applicants that are 40 years old and above are protected. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these employees are protected from any discrimination that may happen regarding the employee or applicant’s age in terms of hiring, firing, compensation, promotion, or any other terms and conditions to the worker’s employment.
How can I Prove Age Discrimination in the Workplace?
Age discrimination lawyers say the easiest way to demonstrate age discrimination is to identify and demonstrate ‘concrete’ proof of discrimination occurring. In other words, if it is simply a matter of ‘he-said-she-said, the claim is likely not going to succeed. Oftentimes, the employer can suggest that other reasons were behind the employee-facing some sort of negative action, such as performance or merit. The employee has the burden of proving that the reason for discrimination was their age and no other conditions applied. However, if the employee can prove that they are a protected class, that they were qualified for the job, or the employer hired other workers similarly qualified but younger in age, then they will generally have adequate proof to bring a case to court.
How Long do I have to File an Age Discrimination Claim in New Jersey?
The first step is to hire an age discrimination lawyer and file an administrative charge of discrimination or a lawsuit through the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. If you take this approach, you will have 180 days (roughly 6 months) to file based on the last incident of discrimination that occurred. If you have been exposed to multiple incidents of age discrimination, you would have 180 days to file since then.
You can also file an age discrimination lawsuit under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), although New Jersey courts are often the better venue for considering acts of discrimination in the workplace in NJ. If you take this route, you could file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the discrimination event occurring. If the EEOC considers your case to have merit, they will send a letter advising of your “right to sue” and you then have 90 days to file a lawsuit through the federal courts.
What are Some Examples of Age Discrimination in the Workplace?
There are many ways that one can be discriminated against because of their age. Here are a few examples:
If your company or business instituted layoffs and laid off most or all the older workers while retaining younger employees. If you were one of the older workers laid off, you would be a victim of age discrimination.
If you, as an older employee, were fired or laid off because your rate of pay is higher than a younger, less-experienced worker who will work for substantially less.
If you were passed up in the hiring process because the employer wanted someone younger in age or appearance.
If you were passed up in on-the-job training and other workplace activities in place of younger employees.
If you received a demotion or negative review for your job performance based on your age/inability to perform as a younger employee might. This is especially true if your work is compared to the standard of a younger employee.
If you were fired or laid off, and your employer made derogatory comments about your age beforehand or in the process of doing so. For example, if you were called ‘ancient’, that would be indicative of workplace age discrimination.
When should I Hire an Age Discrimination Lawyer If I have been Discriminated Against Because of My Age?
Anyone that wishes to file an age discrimination lawsuit against an employer is entitled to representing themselves in the legal process. However, as most lawyers will tell you, that is a very bad idea and likely to result in you losing your case. Therefore, it is advisable for you to contact an age discrimination attorney as close to the date of the original discrimination event as possible. This is partly due to time requirements, but also because it gives your legal counsel extra time to consider the evidence at hand. In fact, an age discrimination attorney can generally advise you on whether it is worth your time, effort, and money to pursue legal action, and so can be extra beneficial to seek advice sooner rather than later. If you think that you have been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace, the age discrimination lawyers at Zeff Law Firm in Mount Laurel, NJ will gladly consider your case.
Some Instances of Employment Age Discrimination Might Include:
Comments in the workplace involving age
Comparing younger coworkers traits to you
Promoting the younger person, even though you are more qualified for the position
Older employees having more severe disciplinary consequences
If you are experiencing any types of age discrimination at work, you have a legal right to take action and defend your right to a fair workplace.
Employment Age Discrimination Lawsuits are becoming more Common
As Baby Boomers continue to work beyond traditional retirement age, employment age discrimination lawsuits are becoming more common. While it’s common knowledge that judging older workers by their age rather than their abilities is illegal, it still happens commonly in workplaces across the country. Losing a job due to age discrimination by an employer can have devastating effects on an individual’s financial security, especially for those who are close to retirement.
You can pursue an age discrimination lawsuit if you feel you are a victim of age discrimination, but it’s a difficult case to win because direct evidence is rare. Any written documentation of discriminatory remarks by managers, in emails and other documents, will help support your case. In addition, the process of suing your employer in an age discrimination lawsuit can be time-consuming and complicated. It’s in your best interest to hire an experienced employment age discrimination lawyer in Philadelphia to represent you.
Employment Age Discrimination Lawsuits are Complicated
Due to the complex nature of age discrimination lawsuits, experts advise individuals to hire an employment age discrimination lawyer to have by your side through the entire process. An employment age discrimination attorney can assess your chances of a successful trial and help you determine best legal options. Before you file a complaint in court, consider reporting the incident to your company’s established grievance system (likely through human resources), or negotiating with your employer to find a resolution. If you have strong evidence of age bias, research shows that employers will likely want to settle out of court.
Should I Hire an Employment Age Discrimination Lawyer?
An employment age discrimination attorney can review the facts and circumstances in your case and represent you at hearings. Contact a Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyer to talk about the merits of your case and to discuss the appropriate legal processes in your state. if your age discrimination lawsuit is successful in court, you may be awarded damages, including compensation for lost pay, attorney’s fees, and possibly emotional distress damages.
State laws may offer more protection than federal law. Contact our employment age discrimination lawyers in Philadelphia and Mount Laurel at 856-778-9700 to learn more.
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