Identifying Age Discrimination
Age discrimination is typically one of the more difficult types of discrimination to prove. For this reason, it is also one of the most pervasive kinds of employment discrimination taking place in the American workforce and job market today. As more companies turn toward favoring younger workers in all phases of their operations — from rank-and-file workers up to management — employer policies designed to force out older workers are becoming more and more common.
Broadly speaking, protection under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to workers over the age of 40 and prohibits employers from favoring younger workers over older workers in hiring, firing and the terms and conditions of employment. This type of discrimination can come in a variety of forms:
- Mandatory retirement ages or policies designed to force older employees out
- Layoffs that disproportionately affect older employees
- Policies that make it easier for younger employees to be promoted
Spotting age discrimination can be difficult because there are so many other demographic factors closely related to age. For example, because college attendance has become more common in recent decades, older employees often have less formal education but make up for it in on-the-job experience. Employers frequently attempt to use these demographic differences to justify their employment decisions and policies. This can make age discrimination claims challenging even when there is demonstrable disparate treatment between younger and older employees. Nevertheless, an experienced New York age discrimination lawyer can help you gather the information you need to determine to build a compelling case.