At Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have represented men and women who experienced the demeaning and humiliating consequences of age discrimination in the workplace for many years. Our attorneys have handled numerous age discrimination cases with excellent results, such as recovering damages on behalf of older employees who have suffered discrimination or harassment in the workplace. In addition to providing expert legal representation to our Philadelphia clients, we have significant experience representing individuals improperly displaced from their employment due to age discrimination in the region.
Have I Been Discriminated Against?
Although discrimination based on age is illegal, employers regularly discriminate against people over 40 years old when hiring, promoting, and offering training opportunities. Likewise, when companies implement reductions in the workforce and layoffs, quite often it is older employees and managers who are the first to be demoted and let go, despite their experience and ability. Older American workers often assume that they should be let go because it is the right business decision, but they do not realize they are victims of age discrimination.
Age discrimination may be proven when a high percentage of older employees and managers are being let go compared to younger, less experienced employees. Terminations that affect older people disproportionately and policies that provide training, education, and other benefits offered only for younger workers may be discriminatory.
A study by the Bermudan insurance company, Hiscox, showed that complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about age discrimination doubled between 1990 and 2017. Workers often feel free to discuss their salaries, what they have been promised, and what is going on throughout a large company. Younger workers are also aware of age discrimination, and they may inform their older colleagues of discrimination that they have seen or heard of.
Our Philadelphia age discrimination lawyers know and understand the various federal laws, such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Older Worker’s Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), as well as state and local protections that may apply to a potential age discrimination claim. Our legal team has the experience necessary to determine the validity of an age discrimination claim under federal and local laws. We will file and pursue all appropriate claims, guide victims through the legal process, and work to recover all remedies and monetary compensation available under the law.
Examples of Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Employers can be quite skillful when they want to hide discriminatory practices; therefore, age discrimination may not be obvious. Some examples of age discrimination in the workplace include:
- An employer who compensates younger employees with less skill and experience at a higher level than older employees with more skill and experience
- A company who promotes a younger employee with less experience over an older employee or hires a younger employee rather than promote an older employee to a position
- A company that experiences difficult times economically fires or lays off the oldest workers first because they are making the highest salaries
- A supervisor who gives an older employee an undeserved poor performance evaluation and then uses these false records to fire or demote the employee
- An employer who will not let an older worker take a training course or invest in the worker’s further growth
- An employer who forces an employee to take an early retirement
- A company who refuses to hire anyone who looks older than a certain age simply to maintain a youthful company image.
- An employer who engages in harassment of an older employee based on age, such as age-related jokes, comments, and gestures
- A supervisor who assigns undesirable or demeaning tasks only to older employees or makes a job more difficult to encourage older employees to quit
- An employer or supervisor who makes age-related remarks
- An employer who gave feedback that an employee was too old, was not flexible in taking on new projects, lacked the ability to learn new skills, or that the company wanted a youthful, new approach that the employee lacked because of their age
- An employer who wanted to create a youthful image with new and youthful employees, so the employee was refused a job, was passed over for a well-deserved promotion or raise, or was fired because the employer wanted a younger person for the job
- Even though terminated older workers performed effectively, received good evaluations, and had more experience, the company laid off mostly older workers while retaining younger workers
- An employer who promotes and provides more promising positions to younger employees as compared to older employees.
- An employer who removes older employees and replaces them with younger employees
Victims of age discrimination or retaliation in the workplace for filing a complaint should seek legal counsel immediately.
What is Retaliation at Work?
Retaliation in the workplace is illegal, and it should be reported as soon as possible. An employer, however, may create a hostile work environment that deters an employee from reporting any actions they have taken. For example, many of the examples of age discrimination listed above may become retaliatory tactics if an employee reports suspected age discrimination. An employer may also act against an employee in other ways. If an employee is afraid to make a complaint because they fear retaliation, they may be working in a hostile environment.
What is Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination may occur when discrimination takes place. We look at each case carefully because we may discover that there are two different complaints. We are not afraid of filing a claim for both actions, and we will ensure that the employer is held accountable for their actions. If an employee was let go from their job only to realize they experienced age discrimination, speak to one of our employment lawyers right away. We will investigate each case to understand how discrimination played a part in the termination.
What are Other Forms of Discrimination?
Victims may also be subjected to other forms of discrimination that require their own complaint. If victims are subjected to any of the following forms of discrimination, reach out to us as soon as possible for assistance:
- Disability discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- LGBTQ discrimination
- National origin discrimination
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Race discrimination
- Religious discrimination
This list is not exhaustive by any means, but these are examples of discrimination in the workplace that employees should be aware of. There are also cases in which the client experiences more than one type of discrimination at work. Document any discrimination experienced or witnessed and provide that information to an age discrimination lawyer.
Can I Recover Damages for Age Discrimination?
If a victim experienced age discrimination, they may be awarded damages for:
- Lost wages or back pay
- Lost earning potential
- Lost benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Legal fees
An employer may be ordered to pay back lost wages because an employee was asked to leave, was forced to retire, or was terminated close to their retirement date. The court may also require an employer to pay for lost earning potential because growth in their field was stunted by the employer’s actions. This can be especially devastating if an employee must start over at a new company.
Benefits may be necessary, and an employer may be required to provide the employee with the retirement and health benefits that were lost when they were terminated or resigned. Pain and suffering is part of the emotional toll that age discrimination can take on a person. In some cases, the court may order an employer to pay damages for pain and suffering because the discrimination damaged one’s physical or mental health. An employer may be forced to pay the victim’s legal fees as part of the judgement, as well as punitive damages, which act as a warning to other companies.
Philadelphia Age Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Older Workers
If you believe you were a victim of age discrimination at work or you experienced any other type of employment discrimination, our legal team can help. Our Philadelphia age discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. will fight for your rights. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.