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Age Harassment

New York City Lawyers Guarding the Interests of Employees

Many stereotypes persist about the effects of aging on a worker’s capacity. Often, older workers are subject to remarks that privilege younger workers. However, in some cases, younger workers are denied opportunities because of their age. If you were subject to age harassment in New York City, you may have a claim under local, state, or federal laws. These laws provide different protections against age harassment. You should consult the New York City age harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates about whether you have a claim and under which law it would be appropriate to pursue it.

Age Harassment Under City Law

The New York City Human Rights Law is widely considered one of the most liberal anti-discrimination laws in the nation. Harassment is one form of discrimination. Under the city law, you are protected against age harassment no matter what your age is. The city law covers any New York City employer that employs at least four employees.

Actionable harassment under the city law can include intimidation, threats, coercion, and violence motivated by your age. Many times, the comments are based on your ability or inability to do your job based on your age. A perpetrator of age harassment can be your coworker, your supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a manager, the CEO, a client, or a customer. The standard for what must be shown to win an age harassment lawsuit is more relaxed than what federal and state laws require, but the harassment should not be a trivial, one-off instance of discriminatory behavior. Instead, an age harassment attorney in New York City will need to show that you were treated less well than other employees due to your age.

Comments on the job relating to your age may help you prove your age discrimination case. For example, if you are repeatedly told by your boss that you should retire because the company needs fresh faces, this may be age harassment. Similarly, if your coworkers regularly call you an old dog who cannot learn new tricks, and your manager agrees and says that you should not be so sensitive, this may be age harassment. If your coworkers corner you at the office holiday party and threaten or yell at you because you are old and refuse to retire, this would be actionable harassment. Under the city law, if your coworkers are older and make derogatory remarks about your youthfulness, and you complain about it to HR, but HR does not rectify the situation, you may have a claim for age harassment.

Federal and State Laws

In most cases, it is wise to pursue damages under the city law. However, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the New York State Human Rights Law also provide protections against age harassment.

Under the ADEA, your New York City age harassment attorney would need to show that you are at least 40 and faced a hostile work environment due to your age. This means that we will need to show that the age harassment was either severe or pervasive, such that it altered the terms and conditions of employment. Alternatively, it must have resulted in an adverse employment action; you will need to show a causal relationship between your age and the adverse employment action. The ADEA applies to employers that have at least 20 employees and federal, state, and local governments. The ADEA does not prohibit a trivial or offhand remark or an isolated incident that is not serious.

The state law applies to employees who are at least 18. As under the ADEA, you will need to establish that your workplace was permeated with insults, ridicule, or intimidation that was sufficiently pervasive or severe to alter the conditions of your employment and create an abusive working environment. For example, if you were continually harassed and told to retire, and when you asked your coworkers and supervisor to stop, you were demoted, you may have a claim under either the New York State Human Rights Law or the ADEA. Similarly, if your supervisor engaged in a campaign of harassment against you, disparaging you by calling you an old man repeatedly in front of coworkers, and then you are not afforded the usual exit procedures and a younger worker replaces you, you may have a claim under the state law.

Consult a Dedicated Age Harassment Lawyer in New York City

If you were a victim of age harassment, you should consult a seasoned attorney. Phillips & Associates represents workers in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Contact us at (833) 529-3476 or via our online form.

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