What is the state age discrimination law like in New York – does it just cover people who are over 55?

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Question:

I’m 35 and I was fired so my boss could hire his son who just graduated from college.  By the time I was fired, I was the only person on the payroll who was over 30; now my boss just has twenty year-olds working for him.  What is the state age discrimination work law like in New York – does it just cover people who are over 55?

 

Answer:

Your former employer is subject to the provisions of the New York if he employs four or more people.  Filing an employment discrimination complaint with the New York Department of Human Rights preserves any claims you may also have under federal anti-discrimination statutes.  Discrimination on the basis of age – any age – is forbidden.  The statute generally declares that “It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice: (a) For an employer or licensing agency, because of an individual's age . . . to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment.”

You should consult an employment rights attorney before you file any age discrimination in the work complaints with any government entity.  After your attorney has had the opportunity to investigate and assess your claims, you could ultimately find yourself with complaints before the New York DHR, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and/or a civil court.  Your litigation strategy should be consistent throughout the forums.

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