As the median lifespan of Americans has increased to approximately 80 years, protections against age discrimination in the workplace are more important than ever. The average age of retirement for workers in the United States has increased from 60 years of age in 1990 to age 66 in 2019. Federal and state anti-discrimination laws make it unlawful for an employer to refuse to interview or hire, fail to promote, or otherwise discriminate against an employee based on their age.
The Mount Laurel employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC are staunch advocates for American workers of all ages. The team of dedicated employment discrimination lawyers at the firm is committed to protecting the legal rights of their clients while aggressively defending their constitutional rights to be treated fairly in the workplace, regardless of their age.
Federal and State Protections Against Age Discrimination
The Federal Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) provide workers with protection against age discrimination in the workplace. The ADEA specifically prohibits employers from discriminating against workers aged 40 years or older by denying them employment, failing to promote, excluding them from job postings, or denying access to apprentice programs.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination also provides protection to older workers, making it illegal to discriminate against any employee who is between the ages of 18 and 70.
Employers that engage in the following employment practices are in violation of ADEA and NJLAD laws:
- Age discrimination during the application, interview, hiring, promotion, or termination process
- Excluding or denying access to advertisements and postings for positions available within the company, or including language that discourages older applicants from seeking employment opportunities
- Offering lower compensation to older employees
- Excluding or reducing health, life insurance, or retirement benefits based on age
- Using age as a detriment on job evaluations
- Job assignments based on age
- Disciplinary actions based on age
- Termination based on age
- Layoffs of employees based on age
- Forcing early retirement
- Discrimination or retaliation against an employee who reports or complains about age discrimination
Filing an Age Discrimination Complaint
While age discrimination is unlawful in New Jersey, it may still be difficult to prove that this form of discrimination has taken place. The burden of proof falls on the employee, which can be a difficult task. Counsel and representation by an experienced employment lawyer is essential to success. Sufficient evidence is needed to prove the employer is in violation of federal or state laws.
The first sign of potential age discrimination in any workforce is the letting go or laying off of only older workers. If the employees who get fired systematically are above a certain age, the reason they are being let go or fired could be age discrimination.
There are different types of evidence that can be used to win an age discrimination case. Sometimes ageist comments are the proof that is needed. Some age comments include statements like:
• We need new or fresh blood
• We need to get rid of dead wood
• We need fresh faces
• “Joe” has lost his fastball
• We need younger people
• We need to hire more millennials
• “Sue” has really slowed down
Having coworkers make snide or sarcastic remarks about a worker’s age could be another possible indicator of age discrimination. Sometimes managers and owners make age related comments about other people and do not make those comments about you. Although, the comments may not be directed at you, it does not mean the comments are unimportant. The comments may show the manager or owner is biased against older workers. This may turn out to be very important information in an age discrimination lawsuit. If they are biased against older people and if you are older it might mean they are biased against you.
Usually the circumstances are the most important evidence. Sometimes an older employee is doing great under one manager or owner. Then a new manager or owner takes over and the same employee suddenly can’t do anything right. At times, new managers or owners bring their bias against older workers with them and older workers are the target.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Advocate for Victims of Age Discrimination
If you have been a victim of age discrimination, call the Mount Laurel employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC at 856-235-7075 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey offices serve clients throughout Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Camden County, and South Jersey.