Learn about the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
In the following educational legal video, experienced Hamburg employment lawyer Andrew P. Fleming discusses age discrimination in the workplace and The Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
I get a number of calls about age discrimination in the workplace. For example, after I’ve asked a number of questions about why the person was let go – or why they were passed over for a promotion – someone might say, “I’m 51. The person who replaced me is 28, and I think I’m a victim of age discrimination.”
Age discrimination in the workplace is actually fairly common, in my opinion, and it is very difficult to prove. Today’s statutes, and the courts that have interpreted the statutes, make it harder to prove ageism than it was, say, 25 or 30 years ago. It’s also harder to get those cases in front of a jury. For ageism claims – like most discrimination claims – it’s extremely helpful to have “smoking gun” evidence of age discrimination.
A 51-year-old who’s been replaced by a 28-year-old does not automatically have a claim. The employer’s defenses may be that the job description changed, that the 51-year-old was selling widgets in, say, the Southern Tier, and now the job involves not only selling widgets driving around, but also a lot of computer work, and a lot of office work, and sales online. By making these claims, the employer is raising a factual distinction as to why the job is not the same job as it was before.
It certainly helps to have some sort of memo, email, or even a conversation in which someone is saying, “Boy, Bill, when are you going to retire?” or “Boy, Jane, aren’t you getting a little old for all this driving?” Having something to work with certainly helps with age discrimination claims because not everyone who’s over 40 and eligible under the law has an automatic claim when they’re let go.
The experienced Hamburg employment lawyers at Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP have extensive experience in aggressively representing the rights of employees in age discrimination claims as well as other workplace disputes. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let our experience work for you.