Age discrimination and New York law: What you need to know

Age discrimination continues to pose a problem for those over 40 throughout the United States. Workers are often protected under both federal and state laws from these practices.

Age discrimination is a problem throughout the United States, and it appears to be on the rise. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there were 15,785 age discrimination complaints in 1997. This number jumped to 21,396 in 2013.

The issue is so prominent in today's job market that a variety of news outlets have addressed the problem. A recent article in Forbes provided tips to help reduce the risk of age discrimination during a job interview. Some of the highlights included:

  • Become tech savvy. Make sure to have any required certification or familiarity with specific software mentioned in job descriptions and requirements. If additional training is needed to meet these requirements, look into courses at local community colleges or libraries.
  • Be present online. Having a positive presence online is far more beneficial than avoiding social media. Put together a LinkedIn account that highlights professional attributes. Consider a Facebook or Twitter account. Employers generally take potential employee's online presence into consideration during the hiring process.
  • Network. Discuss job interests with friends, family members and past colleagues. Reach out to connections on LinkedIn.

Although these tips can help increase the chances of getting a job, it is important to note that age discrimination is illegal. Those who believe they are the victims of discriminatory practices should be aware that legal remedies are available.

Age discrimination: The law

Age discrimination is illegal at both the federal and state level in New York. Federal protections are available under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). These protections generally apply to businesses that employ more than 20 individuals. New York state law offers a more inclusive level of protection, often extending to cover those who work for businesses that employ more than four people.

Anyone over the age of 40 that believes they were not offered a job due to their age may qualify for protection. These protections also extend to include decisions regarding salary, promotions, benefits, layoffs, job assignments and termination of employment.

Age discrimination: Examples

A variety of indicators can signal age discrimination. The New York City Bar Association, a group of legal professionals, note that some common examples of age discrimination in the area include a business that is downsizing but only lays off older employees, a company that steers valuable accounts to younger workers or losing out on a promotion to a younger worker with fewer qualifications.

These are just a few examples of actions that can support the presence of age discrimination. Those who believe they are the victims of discriminatory practices may be eligible for legal remedies. Contact an experienced age discrimination attorney to discuss your options.

Keywords: discrimination