Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and various state laws make it illegal for employers to make decisions that are motivated by an employee’s age. Federal law limits age related lawsuits to persons who are 40 years of age or older. However, other states such as New Jersey provide broader protections.

There are different legal standards and different levels of proof required depending on whether an employee is allegedly part of a reduction in force, terminated, not hired, or subjected to other adverse actions while still employed. But one thing remains the same regardless of the type of adverse action that is premised upon an individual’s age, it is illegal.

Many actions by an employer can indicate that age was a motivating factor in a decision that affected an employee or multiple employees. For example, references such as “grandpa,” “pops,” “old-timer,” or being stereotyped as slow or unable to learn new tasks (tricks) are all indicators of possible age discrimination. Often times there are indications of age discrimination when an employee has been loyal and dedicated to an employer for a long period of time but is terminated or subjected to disparate treatment (along with other older employees) by a new supervisor or manager.

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