Philadelphia Age Discrimination law firm serving pennsylvania and new jersey
Age discrimination in the workplace continues to be an unfortunate common occurrence across the country. Thousands of claims are filed each year with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and even more are filed with state agencies. Federal and state laws protect employees and applicants from such discrimination.
If you believe that you are dealing with employment discrimination based on age, it is vital to contact an employment discrimination attorney who can determine your rights and remedies.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) is a federal law that protects employees and applicants over the age of 40 from age discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The ADEA applies to employers who employ 20 or more employees.
Age discrimination can occur at any point during the employment relationship, including the hiring process, promotion decisions, pay rate and benefits determinations, and the end of the employment relationship via firing, layoff, or retirement. Further, an employer’s practices and policies may appear to be neutral (i.e., not overtly directed at employees over 40), but may have a disparate impact on employees over 40.
Under the ADEA, harassment occurs when offensive remarks about an employee or applicant’s age are made to the point that a hostile or offensive work environment results. Harassment may also be found if the offensive remarks regarding age cause a negative result, such as being fired. Harassment can come from many sources, including supervisors, co-workers, and even clients/customers.
In addition to the federal protections, there are many state laws that prohibit age discrimination. Some of these laws not only protect those over 40, but employees under 40 as well. Pennsylvania and New Jersey have each enacted their own statutes to protect employees from age discrimination.
Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) prohibits discrimination against multiple classes of people, including discrimination based on age. The PHRA protects employees and applicants in Pennsylvania who are over the age of 40 from age discrimination and harassment.
The PHRA applies to employers who employ 4 or more employees.
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) also prohibits discrimination against multiple classes of people, including discrimination based on age. The NJLAD applies to employers of any size. The NJLAD protects employees and applicants that are over the age of 18, not just over the age of 40. This means that employees and applicants are protected from more “traditional” age discrimination for being older, as well as “reverse” age discrimination for being younger.
I have been discriminated against. What do I do?
There are strict deadlines for filing discrimination claims that vary by the circumstances of your situation and the state in which you reside. In Pennsylvania, victims of discrimination must first file through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”) and receive a “Right to Sue” letter in order to file a lawsuit in court. In New Jersey, individuals may file a lawsuit in court without first filing with an agency.
If you have been a victim of illegal discrimination in the workplace, contact employment lawyer Stephanie J. Mensing of Mensing Law LLC at (215) 586-3751. Ms. Mensing in an employment attorney with extensive experience handling discrimination cases in the agencies and state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Schedule a consultation today to ensure that your rights are protected.