Yonkers Age Discrimination
Yonkers is a city with a population of about 200,000 residents. Around 30% of this population is between the ages of 25 and 45. The group that is 45-65 forms 21% of the population. Around 15% of the population is 65 or older. The median age is 36 years old. Employers are sometimes influenced by the age of a job applicant or employee. However, age discrimination is prohibited under federal and state laws. It occurs whenever an employer takes an adverse action based on a job applicant or employee's age, instead of on merit or job performance. However, federal and state laws have significant differences. It is crucial to hire an experienced Yonkers age discrimination lawyer to represent you if you are thinking about filing a lawsuit.Holding an Employer Accountable for Age Discrimination
Age discrimination occurs when an employer decides to take a particular employment action due to your age. However, age discrimination is only actionable under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) if your employer has at least 20 employees, and you are 40 or older. You cannot sue under federal law if you believe that you were treated adversely because you are young.
The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) amended the ADEA to provide special protections for older workers' benefits when older workers are being given severance. The OWBPA protects older workers from age discrimination with respect to employee benefits and stops an employer from providing early retirement packages that favor younger workers.Severance Packages
Employers sometimes want to terminate older employees to get out of paying these benefits. They may try to get you to give up your right to sue for age discrimination or wrongful termination in exchange for severance. An age discrimination attorney can help Yonkers employees determine whether this makes sense for them. The OWBPA requires waivers of age discrimination claims in severance agreements to be voluntary, knowing, and in compliance with certain strict requirements. The waiver needs to: (1) be drafted in clear language, (2) expressly mention ADEA claims or rights, (3) notify an employee that they should discuss the situation with an attorney before waiving their rights, (4) permit the employee a 21-day period during which they can consider an offer of consideration or severance, (5) allow the employee seven days to revoke the signature, (6) not talk about rights or claims that come up after the execution date, and (7) provide consideration in addition to anything that the employee has already earned.
Once you sign a waiver, and the seven-day revocation period has expired, you lose your right to sue an employer for age discrimination or wrongful termination based on age discrimination. When an employer tries to give you incentives to leave, it should be a red flag that the company is concerned about being sued. An employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for wanting to hire a lawyer before signing such an agreement, and you should always consult a Yonkers age discrimination attorney about these issues.Protections Under State Law
Age discrimination protections are more expansive under the New York State Human Rights Law, which prohibits age discrimination in workplaces that have a minimum of four employees. You are protected against age discrimination at your job, as well as in apprentice and training programs, as long as you are at least 18 or older, and being a specific age is not considered a bona fide occupational qualification. Age is a bona fide occupational qualification when the employer's required age is reasonably necessary for business operations. The qualification must be related to an essential job duty and must be considered necessary for the operation of a specific business. For example, it has been found that having a mandatory retirement age for pilots and mass transit drivers is a bona fide occupational qualification. Similarly, a casting call seeking a younger actor or model for the role of a high schooler on a television show would likely pass muster as a bona fide occupational qualification.Consult a Skillful Age Discrimination Lawyer in the Yonkers Area
At Phillips & Associates, our experienced attorneys help clients who have faced employment discrimination under federal or state laws. If you believe that you have been a victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on your age, race, gender, or another protected trait, contact us at (833) 529-3476 or complete our online form for a free consultation.