Phillips & Associates

Philadelphia Age Discrimination

Employment Lawyers Representing Philadelphia Residents

The median age in the city of Philadelphia is 34.2 years old. As of 2013, the median household income in Philadelphia was $36,836. As in other cities around the country, older workers may not get a fair shake in the workplace. Employers are often looking for “new blood” or youthful energy, and may not value the knowledge and experience possessed by older workers. Age discrimination against people age 40 or older is prohibited under both federal and Pennsylvania state laws. If you are subject to age discrimination, you should consult an experienced Philadelphia age discrimination lawyer. At Phillips & Associates, we may be able to help you recover damages.

Age Discrimination Under the ADEA

The federal law prohibiting age discrimination is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. This law provides protections against discrimination to workers who are at least 40 years old. It applies to employers that have at least 20 employees. Discrimination can occur in the context of hiring, firing, promoting, demoting, pay, training, benefits, and other activities in the workplace. The ADEA is interpreted and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Some examples of age discrimination under the ADEA are as follows. If there are layoffs, and your employer lays you off along with other older workers, but it keeps younger workers, this may be age discrimination. If you are ideally qualified for a promotion, but your employer gives it to a much younger person who is less qualified, you may be able to pursue claims for age discrimination. If there are derogatory comments frequently made about older workers such as “you’re getting too old for this job” or “when are you going to retire?”, to the point the workplace is made hostile or abusive, an age discrimination attorney in Philadelphia can help you pursue damages for a hostile work environment.

Age Discrimination Under State Law

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) forbids employment practices that discriminate based on age. The law provides protection to job applicants, employees, and independent contractors who are at least 40. It covers public employers, as well as private employers that have a minimum of 4 employees. As with the ADEA, under the PHRA, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone with regard to hiring, compensation, tenure, terms, conditions, and privileges of employment due to his or her age, as long as that person is at least 40. It is also illegal to try to obtain, or make a record about, the age of a job applicant, or to publish a job posting indicating a preference or restriction based on age. Employers also cannot deny or restrict employment through a quota system based on age.

Just as important, employers are not permitted to retaliate against workers who oppose any practice forbidden by the PHRA, or who testify or cooperate with an investigation under the PHRA. For example, if you were not a victim of age discrimination yourself, but your coworker asks you to testify on her behalf with regard to the age discrimination and harassment that she experienced, it is illegal for your employer to take an adverse employment action against you simply because you were are witness.

There is an exception to age discrimination for a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). Discrimination based on age may be valid as a BFOQ if it is reasonably necessary to the essence of the business' normal operation.

Differences Between Federal and State Laws

There are some important differences between the ADEA and the PHRA, and it is critical to consult an experienced Philadelphia age discrimination attorney as soon as possible if you feel you have been subjected to age discrimination or retaliation. Discrimination claims can be filed with either the EEOC or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. These agencies have put in place a work-sharing agreement, whereby they cooperate to process age discrimination claims. You can file a claim with one and indicate that you want the claim to be cross-filed with the other.

When an employer has less than 15 employees but at least 4 employees, you can file under the PHRA. When there are 15 or more employees at your workplace, and you are at least 40, you can file an age discrimination claim with either agency.

To preserve your Federal Rights, you generally must file a Complaint with the EEOC and/or PHRC (and cross file) within 300 days of the last discriminatory act. To preserve your Pennsylvania state claims, you generally must file a complaint with the PHRC and/or EEOC (if applicable and cross-file) within 180 days of the last discriminatory act.

Consult an Age Discrimination Lawyer in Philadelphia

Age discrimination can cause tremendous economic and emotional harm. If you suspect that you have been a victim of age discrimination in Philadelphia or the surrounding areas, you should consult the experienced employment litigators at Phillips & Associates. Call us at (215) 315-7694 or use our online form for a free consultation.


PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
1635 Market St #1600A
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 315-7694
Fax: (212) 901-2107

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