Age discrimination in Philadelphia is a real problem that occurs more often than we would like to admit. A person can have a hard time finding a new job or be fired so a younger person can take his or her job. This is age discrimination and if you are a victim of these illegal acts in Philadelphia, you have rights. The Derek Smith Law Group has been helping victims of age discrimination fight for age equality for over 25 years. We are ready to help you get the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
Age discrimination in employment is when a person treated unfairly or harassed because he or she is over 40 years old. Age discrimination can take on many forms, including harassment, wrongful termination, layoffs, refusal to hire, failure to promote, demotion, lower wages, and isolation, among other negative actions. The law is very clear, however, that age discrimination is not able to be applied to a person under the age of 40 in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania follows similar rules as the federal government regarding age discrimination. According to the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), age discrimination relates to anyone over the age of 40 who has experienced adverse employment actions based on his or her age. The law is very clear that a person under the age of 40 is not covered as a protected class. Under this law, a person employed in a company with 20 or more employees cannot be fired, laid-off, refused work, or harassed because of age. In addition, a person cannot be denied a raise or promotion because of age, nor can he be demoted.
Another law that protects employees from age discrimination on the federal level is the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) in which employers are prohibited from denying benefits to any employee over the age of 40.
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act offers these same protections to employees 40 and older in any workplace with 4 or more employees.
Finally, the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance also protects employees age 40 and older from age discrimination in the workplace. It should be noted, you cannot file a claim with both the state agency and the city. You must choose one agency.
Proving an age discrimination case in Philadelphia is as simple as the evidence you can present. In order to obtain the evidence, you may need to prove your case in court, you must be proactive in collecting evidence or documentation at the first sign of an issue. First, it is important to document as much as possible. Take notes relating to each incident that relates to your claim of age discrimination, noting who was involved, the date, the time, and what happened. Try to get as much as possible in writing to have a paper trail as to how you are treated and issues that may arise.
Several types of evidence can help prove your age discrimination case. First, look for physical evidence. This is not often available, however, if it is, it will be extremely helpful. This evidence includes hearing a supervisor tell you or someone else that you were not hired or were terminated because of your age. It also includes those rare times when you are accidentally copied on an email or included in a text that speaks about you and your age in a derogatory manner.
The next type of evidence is the act of discrimination or disparate acts. These are the acts of being fired and replaced with a younger employee or being forced to retire at a certain age.
Finally, there is evidence of procedures, such as policies in the handbook that are directed towards discriminating against people for age. This included policies that force retirement at a certain age or revoking all benefits for people over age 40.
Age discrimination in the workplace can be blatantly obvious or very subtle. However, there are certain signs to keep an eye on. These red signs can help you determine if you are a victim of employer age discrimination:
- Being passed over for a promotion in favor of a younger colleague.
- Noticing employers only hiring candidates under age 40.
- Being harassed or made fun of based on your age.
- Not being provided the more challenging work assignments which are given to younger employees.
- Being left out of events, discussions, and isolated from the main hub of the office.
- Being strongly coerced to retire after reaching a certain age.
- Constantly being one of the people in the group of layoffs while younger employees remain employed
- Your position is being phased out or eliminated
- Being disciplined for issues that your younger co-workers are not.
- Being denied pay raises and given arbitrary reasons as to why they are not being issued or not given the same types of raises as your younger coworkers.
Typically, the biggest sign that you are the victim of employer age discrimination is candidates and employees under age 40 are constantly chosen for opportunities for which you are qualified and routinely passed over.
The time limit, or statute of limitations to file your claim for age discrimination in the workplace in Philadelphia is anywhere from 300 to 365 days from the date of the last incident of discrimination. If you choose to file your claim in federal court, you must first file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC monitors all ADEA and OWBPA claims. You must file your claim within 300 days of the last incident of age discrimination in order for the EEOC to investigate your claim and issues a Right to Sue letter, which allows you to then file your complaint in Federal Court.
If you wish to bring your suit to state court or you have under 20 employees and must file the claim in state court, you have 365 days under the Pennsylvania Fair Practices Act and 300 days under the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance. You must choose one of the two agencies in which to file your claim, as it cannot be filed in both agencies if it is for the same matter.
There are many remedies available through the courts for victims of age discrimination in Philadelphia. If you have been fired or laid off, you may want to be reinstated to your employment position. You may ask the courts demand the supervisor who discriminated against you be removed from his or her position or transferred to another department or office. Maybe you want the company to be forced to review its current policies and procedures and revamp hem to remove any discriminatory practices. Here are some other examples of relief that can be provided by the court:
- Back Pay
- Lost future wages
- Attorney’s fees
- Medical expenses incurred as a result of the discrimination
- Repayment of Benefit premiums
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages. These are the damages meant to punish the employer for his or her actions. Your attorney may base this requested amount on the gross profits of the company, the nature of the discrimination, and whether the company has acted int his manner int eh past, among other things.
When you file a claim against your employer for age discrimination, you want it to be over as quickly as possible so you can move on. It would make sense that you want to know how long this process will take. Age discrimination lawsuits can take anywhere from a few months to one to two years to be resolved. This is based on the evidence you have and the willingness of the other side (your employer) to settle the case before trial. If your employer is willing to offer a reasonable settlement option, then the case will likely settle well before the appointed trial date. However, if the employer is not willing to settle the case, you may have to co to trial, which can take a year or longer before a judge or jury provides a verdict.
The best line of defense in an age discrimination case is a proactive offense. If you are victimized by your employer for your age, here are some things that you should do immediately to help your case and move forward.
- If you are still employed, do not quit your job. Quitting your job can hurt your case
- Gather as much evidence as possible. Remember to start noting every incident of discrimination or harassment, who was involved, when it occurred, and who witnessed it.
- If your company has an HR department, report the incident to HR immediately
- If your company has a policy on how to handle age discrimination incidents, follow the procedure. This may not stop the incidents from occurring, but it will help your case that you followed the proper protocol.
- Contact an age discrimination attorney immediately.
Do you have any questions about age discrimination in Philadelphia we did not answer? If you have questions about age discrimination in Philadelphia or are the victim of employee age discrimination, contact the experienced attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group at (215) 391-4790 for your free consultation. We do not get paid until we win your case.
Different Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle:
- Race Discrimination
- Color Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender or Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination