Experienced New Jersey Age Discrimination Lawyers
Age discrimination in the workplace is, unfortunately, a common problem. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), $21.4% of discrimination claims in 2019 were based on age. If you have been terminated, demoted, passed over for a promotion or harassed at your place of employment as a result of your age, you know it can be a traumatic, humiliating and demeaning experience. Your financial security can be jeopardized, especially in this difficult economy. But that does not have to be the case. With offices in Red Bank, NJ, Marlton, NJ, and Newark, NJ, the age discrimination lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. have a proven track record of successfully handling employment discrimination cases, recovering substantial damages for victims of discrimination, including older employees.
Federal and State Laws Against Age Discrimination
According to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it is against the law for an employer to discriminate against employees or applicants who are at least 40 years old based on their age. The ADEA protects employees at every phase of employment, including the interview process, hiring, job evaluations, promotions, and termination. In addition, an employer may not treat an individual who is younger than 40 years old more favorably than someone who is 40 years old or older. Older employees must also be eligible for the same benefits as other employees, including health insurance, disability insurance, and retirement packages.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) also protects employees from discrimination based on their age. According to this law, it is illegal for an employer to treat an employee differently based on age, including:
- Refusal to hire based on age.
- Termination or layoff because of age.
- Forced retirement because of age or setting a designated retirement age.
These protections apply during the application process, during employment, and in retirement. However, there are certain exceptions for workers who are under the age of 18 or over the age of 70. While employees in these age ranges cannot be harassed or mistreated, employers can legally refuse to hire or promote them at their discretion in certain circumstances.
Common Examples Of Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Even though discrimination based on age is illegal, it is still a common occurrence. Oftentimes, when a company is forced to lay off a certain number of employees, it is the older employees who are the first to go, regardless of their experience and work ethic. This is due in part to the fact that older employees typically are at a higher salary point than younger, less experienced workers.
Common examples of age discrimination in the workplace include:
- A company that is struggling financially fires the older employees who make the highest salaries and have been with the company the longest.
- An employer compensates a younger, less experienced worker over an older employee with more experience.
- A company wants to project a youthful image, so they will not hire a person who looks older than a certain age.
- An employer forces a worker to take early retirement.
- An employee receives feedback from a superior that he or she is too old, lacks the ability to learn new skills and does not have the energy and youthfulness that the company wants to project.
- An employer replaces older employees with younger, less experienced employees in order to pay smaller salaries.
- Terminating or disciplining an employee in retaliation for making a complaint about age discrimination.
Filing An Age Discrimination Lawsuit in New Jersey
If you want to pursue legal action for age discrimination, the process can be complex and time-consuming. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced age discrimination lawyer to represent you and ensure that your rights are protected. The process of a New Jersey age discrimination lawsuit involves the following stages:
- Filing in Court: Under the NJLAD, you may file a lawsuit in court without having to go through the administrative channels of your workplace first. Contact our office before filing an NJLAD claim in order to fully understand your options.
- Discovery: In this phase, lawyers take depositions from witnesses and gather the pertinent information they need for the trial. Both you and your employer will conduct discovery. Your lawyer will accompany you to the deposition to ensure that the questions asked of you are appropriate.
- Mediation: During mediation, both parties come together to try to negotiate a settlement agreement. Both sides may or may not discuss counter settlement offers. Unlike a trial, both parties resolve the matter by agreeing to certain terms, including payment settlement. If you cannot come to a settlement agreement, you will move on to a trial.
- Trial: After the discovery phase, both parties will present evidence at trial, which could take from several days to weeks. You must be present each day of the trial.
How Employers Can Prevent Age Discrimination Lawsuits
For employers, the key to successfully resolving age discrimination issues is by taking proactive measures to prevent, investigate, address, and defend possible claims. Our law firm provides legal guidance to employers in a variety of situations, from defending against a discrimination claim to creating policies that will reduce the risk of future incidents.
Our NJ Age Discrimination Lawyers Can Help You Get Compensation
Every person should be treated with respect in their place of work, regardless of their age. If you have experienced a hostile work environment or suffered age discrimination in the workplace, call our Red Bank, NJ, Marlton, NJ, and Newark, NJ office or contact us online today for a free consultation. We will discuss your rights and options, which may include internal complaints or a lawsuit, and help you every step of the way in seeking justice for unlawful workplace discrimination.