Age Discrimination & Equal Benefits Among Workers
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 states that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against employees and job applicants over 40 years old due to their age. This extends to hiring, promotion, and termination decisions, compensation, terms of employment, and access to certain benefits like paid sick time and the right to take unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Employees who are victims of age discrimination can work pursue compensation for their damages through discrimination claims. When an employer retaliates against an employee for exercising one or more of his or her rights, the employee can also seek compensation through a retaliation claim.
Examples of Company Resources
Company resources and benefits are the perks that an employer offers to employees in addition to their wages that make the position attractive. They are used to entice and retain qualified professionals. A few examples of company resources that can be used in this manner include:
- Flexible schedules, such as allowing employees to work from home when necessary;
- Training programs to further employees’ skills;
- Life insurance plans; and
- Retirement plans.
Companies are not required to provide these benefits. But when they choose to provide them, they must be provided equally to employees. A company may not deny an individual access to this type of benefit based on his or her age, race, sex, religion, or any other protected class.
Filing and Supporting an Age Discrimination Claim
If your employer tells you that you cannot access one of the benefits listed above or a similar perk, you could have grounds for an age discrimination claim. For example, if you want to attend a training program and your employer denies you, stating that it is meant for younger individuals, your career can potentially suffer. To prove that your age was the reason why your request was denied, you need to provide evidence to support your claim.
Evidence can be direct evidence, such as recorded statements made to you or copies of letters or emails detailing that your age was a factor in your employer’s decision. In many cases, employers are not this direct and employees need to provide circumstantial evidence to support their claims. An example of this would be documentation showing that a younger employee was chosen for the position, promotion, or training program despite his or her similar or lesser qualification.
Age discrimination claims are handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you file a claim with the EEOC, it will investigate the claim to determine if discrimination did occur. If the EEOC finds you were a discrimination victim, it will attempt to settle the issue. If this is not effective, it may file a federal lawsuit on your behalf or notify you of your right to file one on your own.
Work with an Experienced Queens Employment Lawyer
Work with an age discrimination lawyer New York can count on. Contact Ricotta & Marks, P.C. today to schedule your initial legal consultation in our Queens office.