What Is Age Discrimination And How Is It Proven?
Age discrimination is a real and growing problem that affects employees across all industries, both here in New Jersey and around the country. One of the reasons that age discrimination is particularly pernicious is that, when an employee is in his or her 50’s or 60’s, it often proves very difficult to find comparable replacement employment.
Older employees do fall into a class protected both under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. When discrimination occurs, there is sometimes “direct evidence” of discrimination, in the form of employer comments like, “we need to bring in some fresh blood;” or “younger employees have the technical skills we need;” or “why haven’t you retired yet?”
But more often, age discrimination needs to be proven with circumstantial evidence. We generally do that in the “discovery process” that is part of any litigation: digging into the reasons offered by the employer for the termination and pointing out the weaknesses, inconsistencies and contradictions in those reasons. For example, the employer may claim that it fired the older employee for supposed “errors” made on the job, but we then are able to establish that other, much younger employees have committed much more serious errors and were never even spoken to, much less terminated.
To determine whether you have a basis for a claim, we strongly advise you meet with a qualified New Jersey employment lawyer who will spend the time necessary to review with you the reasons your employer has given for your termination and whether sufficient “holes” can be poked in the employer’s story to successfully make out a claim of age discrimination. If successful, the potential damages you can recover include lost back and future wages, emotional distress damages, and potentially even punitive damages against your employer. You may contact the New Jersey employment attorneys at Schall & Barasch today for a consultation regarding your age discrimination claim.
* In every year since 2014, the law firm of Schall & Barasch has been included in the Tier 1 list of best law firms in New Jersey practicing in the field of employment law on behalf of individuals. This list is compiled by U.S. News & World Report. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.
** The methodology for the Avvo ratings of Richard Schall and Patricia Barasch can be found at www.avvo.com/support/avvo_rating.
*** In every year since 2009, Richard Schall has been chosen to be included on the list of Best Lawyers in New Jersey practicing in the field of labor and employment law. The Best Lawyers list is issued by Best Lawyers International. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.bestlawyers.com/about/MethodologyBasic.aspx.
**** In every year since 2005, both Patricia Barasch and Richard Schall have been chosen to be included on the list of Super Lawyers in New Jersey practicing in the field of employment law on behalf of plaintiffs. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.
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