Age discrimination in New Jersey is when a person between the ages of 18 and 70 experiences negative treatment or is harassed at work because of his or her age. New Jersey is one of the few states that incorporates people under the age of 40 into their age discrimination law. If you feel that you have been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace in New Jersey, you will want an attorney to help you file your claim and get justice for you. The Derek Smith Law Group has worked for over twenty-five years helping New Jersey employees fight age discrimination injustices in the workplace.
Employer age discrimination in New Jersey is when a person between the ages of 18 and 70 is treated unfairly because of his or her age or harassed because of his or her age. This can come in many forms, whether it be failure to promote, refusal to hire, termination, or even making jokes about your age negatively and offensively. Age discrimination in the workplace is illegal and should never be tolerated.
Age discrimination in New Jersey can be seen in the form of a hostile work environment or harassment. Here are some examples of age discrimination in the workplace:
- Name-calling based on age (Old man, Gramps, Grandma, Little Kid, etc.)
- Jokes centered around age
- Demotion due to age
- Refusal to provide benefits because of age
- Skipped over for promotions due to age
- Coerced to retire before age 70
- Termination based on age
- Refused a pay raise even when you are given more work, because of age
- Denied opportunities to work on new project or attend trainings based on age
- Layoffs that appear age-based
- A noticeably younger or older work environment
- Refusal to hire or interview for a position because of age
These are just a few examples of how age discrimination can play out in the workplace. The key is that a person is made to feel inferior at the office because of age. Derek Smith Law Group can help you determine if you are the victim of age discrimination in New Jersey and then help you seek the justice you deserve.
According to the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), people over the age of forty working in a company with 20 or more employees are protected from being discriminated against because of their age. In addition, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act prevents employers from denying benefits to people over the age of 40.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is a bit different from the ADEA. New Jersey sets parameters around age which includes anyone between the ages of 18 and 70. A person between these ages is considered a protected group in the workplace. However, an employer can refuse to hire someone under 18 because of age and refuse to promote or hire a person over the age of 70. The most notable difference between the LAD and the ADEA, aside from setting an age limit of 70, is that any person over 18 is a protected class, as opposed to any person over 40.
Age discrimination is not easy to prove. However, that does not mean it cannot be proven. Age discrimination can take on three forms in the workplace. First, there is direct discrimination. This is when a person expresses to you, in no uncertain terms, that you are not being hired or you are being fired because of your age. They may blatantly make jokes to you about your age that you openly state you find offensive. You may even stumble across an email accidentally copying you that talks negatively about you because of your age.
Another way age discrimination can occur is through discrimination actions, also known as disparate acts. These are the actions people commit, such as laying you off in favor of hiring a younger employment base or forcing you to retire before age 70 in New Jersey.
Finally, you may find discriminatory policies that will lead to age discrimination. The policies can and should be changed to protect the company and the employees from age discrimination lawsuits.
When looking to prove your age discrimination case in New Jersey, you must gather evidence such as documenting discriminatory actions as they occur, noting disparate acts, and gathering policies that are discriminatory.
The ADEA and OWBPA are governed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Under the EEOC, a person has 300 days to file a claim for age discrimination in the workplace in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Division of Civil Rights oversees any cases filed claiming a LAD violation. According to the organization, a victim has 180 days to file a claim to begin the investigation.
When you are the victim of age discrimination in the workplace, you want to receive justice. Justice can be monetary, or it can be action-based, or both. Some of the types of remedies you may be awarded by the courts include:
- Reinstatement of employment
- Back pay
- Future pay
- Attorney’s fees
- Reimbursement of medical expenses related to the claim
- Reimbursement for benefits not paid as required by the company
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are the damages awarded to punish the employer for their behavior, intending to deter them from participating in such behavior in the future. These types of damages can be multi-million dollar awards, such as the case in the Lockheed Martin trial in which $51.5 million was awarded to the plaintiff.
An ADEA case may only be as good as the evidence used to prove the claim. Collecting evidence is the most important part of the entire pre-trial experience. Each piece of evidence helps tell the story of employer age discrimination in New Jersey. If you are the victim of age discrimination, take notes on every occurrence that may help your case. Note the date and time of the occurrence, the people involved, and what occurred. Note who you can trust to testify on your behalf and who to avoid. The more information you have available, the better it is for your case.
Using age as a reason to hire or not hire a person between the ages of 18 and 70 is illegal in New Jersey. However, that does not mean that an employer cannot ask your age or date of birth on the application or in the hiring process. Most employers will only ask age if they must ensure you are at least 18 years of age or if the job requires you to be of a certain age range, such as an actor playing a specific part. However, unless these issues play a role in the employment opportunity, most employers will avoid the question until after the hiring decision is made.
If you are the victim of age discrimination in New Jersey, you can bring a lawsuit against your employer for damages. However, you must be able to prove that age discrimination was the sole reason for the hostile work environment or adverse employment action. If you are between the ages of 18 and 70 in New Jersey and have experienced any type of harassment or felt discriminated against by your employer or workplace because of your age, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the employer in the New Jersey court system.
You have taken the first step and began your research into age discrimination. If you are a victim of workplace age discrimination in New Jersey, some of the things you should be doing include:
- Continue working. Quitting your job can be harmful to your case
- Gather evidence. Start documenting every discrimination incident. Include who is involved, what occurred, the date, and even who witnessed the incident
- If your company has an HR department, contact them immediately.
- If your company has an age discrimination policy, follow its guidelines. This will help your case.
- Contact an age discrimination attorney
Have you been the victim of age discrimination and need help? The experienced age discrimination attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group are here to help. We have helped many clients like you receive damages for the age discrimination they experienced in the workplace. Please call us at (973) 388-8625 for your free consultation. We do not receive any money until you win your case. Let us know if have any questions related to age discrimination that we did not answer? Maybe there is something that you would like to learn more about.
Different Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle:
- Race Discrimination
- Color Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender or Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination