Can Younger Workers File Age-Based Discrimination Claims in New York City?

young employee facing age-based discrimination

While many are familiar with age bias and discrimination, there is a false understanding that it only affects older adults in the workplace. As a younger employee, you may feel patronized and held back by older management due to your age. However, there are laws in place that determine the circumstances around discrimination claims. If you believe you are facing age-based discrimination while at work, ensuring you review your legal options with the help of a New York City employment discrimination lawyer is essential to understanding your rights as an employee.

What Does the Law Say About Age-Based Discrimination?

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees over the age of 40. However, the federal law does not apply to anyone under the age of 40, as discrimination in most instances, affects older workers more than younger workers. For example, if a 45-year-old and 24-year-old apply for the same job, many companies would lean towards hiring the 24-year-old, even if they are less qualified than the other candidate. This is because many companies are under the assumption that younger employees are more likely to “last longer” in the company.

Does New York Law Differ from Federal Law?

New York is one of a few states that offer protections for all employees when it comes to age-based discrimination. This means that according to state and New York City laws, an employer cannot discriminate against you regardless of age. This discrimination can manifest in hiring, firing, or any other employment decision, such as promotions or an increase in salary.

For example, if you are an employee with an excellent track record, you may want to receive a promotion to manager. However, if it is given to an older, less qualified employee because you are “too young” for the job, this can qualify as age discrimination under New York Law. Unfortunately, this can impact your livelihood, so you would likely suffer due to ageism.

If I Think I’m Facing Discrimination, What Should I Do?

If you believe you are experiencing discrimination at work, it’s essential to get everything in writing. If you are denied a job, promotion, raise, or additional responsibilities because your employer believes you are too young to handle the responsibility compared to older employees – despite having more qualifications – you should request their reasoning in writing.

Ensuring you have this in writing is beneficial when you visit an employment discrimination lawyer, as they can use this to help create a case surrounding this experience. At Mirza Law, we believe that your qualifications should speak for themselves. If you are being discriminated against due to your young age, contact our office today. New York law is on your side, protecting you from reverse ageism, so we will do everything in our power to help protect your rights.