People who are over 40 may face age discrimination. Thankfully, employees are usually protected under both federal and state laws from discrimination. Age discrimination is not legal and victims must be aware of the legal remedies available. If you are one of these victims, it is in your best interest to work with Queens Employment Discrimination Lawyers to ensure your rights are protected.
Age Discrimination Law
Federal protections against age discrimination are available under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or ADEA. In general, such protections apply to businesses that employs at least 20 people. New York State law provides a more inclusive level of protection, usually extending to cover employees who work for businesses that employ more than 4 individuals.
If you are over the age of 40 and think you were not offered a job because of your age, you may qualify for protection. Such protection also extends to include decisions regarding salary, benefits, promotions, layoffs, job assignments, and employment termination.
Making a Legal Complaint for Age Discrimination in New York
If you think you have been a victim of age discrimination, you have two options. First, if you are still working for your employer, file a complaint based on what’s required under the employee handbook complaint procedure. Otherwise, your employer can have a strong defense to your complaint.
If you have been fired or have made an internal complaint, you can pursue your claim in an administrative agency or New York State Supreme Court. Because the New York State Human Rights Law does not require filing an administrative complaint before filing a lawsuit, you can go straight to court with your case. Unlike other federal anti-discrimination laws, the ADEA lets you give the EEOC 60 days to investigate the case before you move on and file your lawsuit in federal court.
Damages You Can Recover
Damages you can recover for age discrimination vary under state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Under the ADEA, victims can recover damages for their lost earnings, including back and front pay, loss of fringe benefits, and loss of retirement benefits. Victims can collect liquidated damages under the ADEA but they need to show that their employer’s violation of the law was intentional. Lastly, a successfully ADEA plaintiff is often entitled to an award of attorney’s fees. If you sue for age discrimination under New York law, you may recover damages for lost wages and benefits, loss of earnings, and emotional distress.