Both federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace. One form of discrimination that is flatly illegal is age discrimination, which seems to be becoming more prevalent as the American population ages. If you believe you have suffered discrimination based on your age, you might be entitled to legal remedies. You should follow the steps below and then reach out to an experienced New Jersey age discrimination lawyer.
Understand Age Discrimination
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age discrimination against anyone who is 40 or older. This federal law applies to all employers in the US that employ at least 20 people. Those discriminated against can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
However, New Jersey also has its own laws, and the Law Against Discrimination is broader than the federal law. It protects against age discrimination regardless of the person’s age. This means it prohibits discriminating against a worker for being younger than others. New Jersey’s Division on Civil Rights is responsible for enforcing the law.
These laws against discrimination do not mean that employers cannot take experience and other factors into account. There might be legitimate reasons for choosing an older employee over a younger one. And there are valid reasons for choosing a younger employee over an older one (such as more relevant education or skills). Still, if you suspect that you were denied a job or suffered other discrimination based on age, give us a call.
No age discrimination lawsuit will succeed without solid evidence that your age was the reason you were discriminated against. We see many claims based on nothing but allegations with no facts backing them up.
Let’s look at some helpful evidence:
- Proof of solid work history for a company, complete with good performance evaluations. Some employers try to replace older workers and justify it on the grounds that the worker was not a good employee. A long track record of successful performance undercuts that claim.
- Negative comments about your age. These comments can be made in an email, in a written note, and over the phone. If management started asking questions about your age, this evidence could also prove helpful. If other workers heard the comments, then even better.
- Evidence that you were replaced by much younger employees. If you were laid off and someone only 3 years younger than you was hired, then this isn’t great evidence of age discrimination. But if you were replaced by someone 20 years younger, then you have a stronger case.
To collect evidence, write down everything you can think of that has happened at work to make you think you were discriminated against based on age. Your attorney can follow up and request confidential emails and other communications that might reveal a discriminatory motive.
Discriminated for Being Old in New Jersey? Contact Us Today
This is also an important step. The defendant probably has many lawyers at its disposal, and they can confuse people who try to handle their own claims. Before suing, there are steps that workers need to take that an attorney can explain.
To talk with someone at Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP, please contact us to schedule an initial consultation.