Age Discrimination Attorney in Rochester, NY
Dedicated Rochester Employment Lawyer Helping Victims of Age Discrimination Enforce Their Rights
If you’ve been discriminated against based on your age, you likely feel hopeless and helpless and are unsure if you can hold your employer accountable. The law is on your side regarding age discrimination. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers age 40 and over from discrimination as long as the company has at least 20 employees. The New York Human Rights Act takes it even further, protecting employees 18 and older from age discrimination, as long as the company has at least four employees.
The law makes it clear that employers cannot discriminate based on age, but unfortunately, these cases are still common. Sixty-one percent of employees 45 and older have experienced age bias at work. Michelle Cimino of The Cimino Law Firm has spent over two decades fighting for the rights of New York employees. Contact us today for a free phone consultation.
How Do You Prove Age Discrimination?
The burden of proof rests with the person filing the age discrimination claim. The Cimino Law Firm will investigate your complaint and gather the necessary evidence. Cases are typically proven with direct evidence, evidence of disparate treatment, or evidence of disparate impact.
Direct evidence is rare in these cases, but some claimants do have access to it. Direct evidence can be written or verbal and clearly outlines the discrimination. This could include an email that states that you are losing your job because of your age or being told that you are not eligible for employment because you are too old. If you have direct evidence, submit it to your attorney. This type of evidence makes it clear that discrimination has taken place.
Disparate treatment is a common type of evidence in these cases. Often, employers treat people differently based on age, and that is illegal in New York. For instance, assume that a 50-year-old and a 25-year-old apply for the same job. The 50-year-old has much more experience, but the employer hires the 25-year-old. This is an example of disparate treatment. Another example is failing to promote an older employee who is more qualified or giving better assignments to younger people to push a senior employee out of a job.
Age discrimination lawsuits on the grounds of disparate impact are also common in New York. In these cases, the employer usually doesn’t have discriminatory intent but discriminates against people anyway. For example, assume a company decides to raise all salaries to get them in line with the national average. People in their 40s typically have seniority and make more than their younger colleagues. Because of that, the company gives higher raises to younger people who do not have seniority. While the intention wasn’t to discriminate against others, this is a form of discrimination because it affects older employees.
Is Age Discrimination Just for People Over 40?
Age discrimination is generally thought of as discriminating against someone because they are over the age of 40. However, people under 40 can also suffer from age discrimination. The New York Human Rights Law protects everyone aged 18 and over from this discrimination.
Age discrimination happens against young people all the time. For instance, some employers refuse to hire young employees because they think they will move onto another job quickly. This is a form of age discrimination.
Others refuse to provide training opportunities for young workers. They believe it’s not worth the time or resources since the workers aren’t “mature” enough. This is also age discrimination.
Some employers even refuse to hire young workers because they don’t think they will fit in with a more experienced staff. Again, it is against the law to discriminate against anyone based on age, regardless of the excuse.
What Are The Statute of Limitations for Filing an Age Discrimination Claim?
A statute of limitations is in place for age discrimination claims. If you want to hold your employer accountable, you need to file a claim within one year of the discriminatory action. For example, if someone refused to hire you due to your age on Jan. 1, 2019, you would have to file the claim by Jan. 1, 2020. If possible, don’t wait until the last minute to file the claim, though. The faster you file the complaint, the easier it is to gather evidence and prove age discrimination.
How Do You File an Age Discrimination Claim?
If you are still employed by the company that discriminated against you, you need to file a complaint with your employer. Your employee handbook should have a procedure to follow. Most likely, you will need to file a complaint with the human resources department. Once your employer is notified of the claim, it will have the opportunity to correct the problem.
Sadly, employers often do not fix employment discrimination problems. When that happens, you can take legal action.
You have two options for taking legal action. You can file a claim under the ADEA or the New York Human Rights Law. If you choose to file under the ADEA, you have to begin with an administrative complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC has 60 days to look into the case. If your claim is validated, you can sue your employer in federal court.
If you want to file your claim under the New York Human Rights Law, you do not have to file a complaint with the EEOC. Instead, you can take your case directly to court.
While you can choose to file a claim with the federal or state government, you also have the option of filing claims with both. Our legal team will assist you in determining the best way to move forward with your case.
What Damages Are Available in Age Discrimination Cases?
The damages depend on where you file your claim. If you choose the federal court, you can recover:
- Lost earnings
- Future wages
- Lost benefits
If you file your case in the state’s court system, you can recover lost earnings, future wages, and lost benefits. You can also recover damages for emotional distress. New York State law doesn’t allow you to recover double the damages, even if the action was intentional.
Let The Cimino Law Firm Fight for You
The law might be on your side with your employment discrimination case, but that doesn’t mean these cases are easy to prove. You need to gather evidence, file a claim, and possibly argue in court. This is difficult and time-consuming, and unless you understand the law, you are unlikely to get the results you want.
The Cimino Law Firm has argued cases just like yours for more than 20 years. We understand both federal and New York state employment discrimination laws, and we can help you.
We make the process as easy as possible for our clients. You’ve already been through so much, so you don’t want to spend lots of money on a consultation. You can call us and schedule a free phone consultation. During the phone call, you will provide us with background information about your claim. A lawyer will explain if you have a claim and then go over potential strategies.
Then it will be time to visit one of our conveniently located offices. You can go to our Rochester or Webster location to sign the paperwork and begin the legal process.
We look forward to helping you file your claim and recover damages.