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High school teacher claims age discrimination, files lawsuit

Workplace discrimination is a serious affront to an employee's rights. And while gender and race discrimination are two of the most common forms of discrimination, White Plains, New York workers should realize that age discrimination is another form of discrimination. Sometimes a worker can receive negative treatment either because they are viewed as too old or too young. A 72-year-old high school teacher from a school in Queens, New York claims to have experienced this, and she alleges that she is being forced into retirement by the school that employs her.

The woman, who has 52 years of teaching experience, feels that the unsatisfactory evaluation she received during the 2012-2013 school year barred her from getting extracurricular employment activities. She added that the ratings were a form of retaliation for her complaint to the state's human rights division. The school's assistant principal denies this claim and explained that, while the teacher is knowledgeable, she tends to favor some students and has trouble handling a diverse group of students. The school teaches children with learning disabilities as well as students for whom English is a second language.

The judge who is hearing the case, coincidentally, is the oldest judge in New York's federal bench at 92 years of age. He threw out some parts of the teacher's lawsuit, but found merit in her legal action. He explained that a jury could find the age discrimination claim justifiable. A trial has been scheduled for the fall.

The equal treatment of workers is required by the law. White Plains employees who have experienced discrimination, whether because of age, gender, race or religion have the right to hold employers legally responsible for their actions. Employees should also be aware that discrimination can take the form of retaliation, where an employer harasses or terminates a worker for exposing or complaining about a company's misconduct or illegal activity.

Source: New York Daily News, "Discrimination lawsuit filed by Queens high school teacher, 72, will proceed: 92-year-old judge," John Marzulli, June 7, 2014

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