Articles Posted in Age Discrimination

When you’re pursuing a retaliation case in New York, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are a quick three: (1) even if your underlying discrimination (or harassment) claim fails — even at the summary judgment phase — you can still win your retaliation claim, (2) even if your employer has put forward a legitimate basis for the adverse action it took and a viable theory as to why your claim is not legitimate, you can still successfully make out a retaliation claim, and (3) if you believe you were the target of illegal retaliation at work, you need to get in touch with an experienced New York employment discrimination lawyer.

A recent retaliation case from upstate illustrates the points briefly outlined above. The worker, J.D., was a manager working for a chain of auto repair and maintenance stores, overseeing 10-14 stores.

In late 2019, one of the manager’s female subordinates, S.M., informed him that she “had been touched inappropriately by a co-worker” on multiple occasions that day. According to the employer, the manager badly mishandled the investigation into the woman’s complaint, failing to follow company policies and engaging in deceitful behavior.

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If you think you’ve been the target of illegal age discrimination in New York City, it’s extremely important that you get in touch with an experienced New York City age discrimination lawyer right away. That’s true because the costs of delaying are potentially catastrophic. If you miss the deadline for filing your complaint, then those responsible may completely avoid liability for that discrimination on the basis of the statute of limitations.

In connection with statutes of limitation and limitations periods, there’s also something called “tolling,” which possibly can mean that you have a longer window of time in which to sue. Knowing if tolling applies to your situation and, if so, what your specific deadline for filing is can be crucial to your success. This again illustrates the importance of having knowledgeable legal counsel on your side.

As an example, there’s S.G., a woman who, for many years, was the director of a senior center in Lower Manhattan. In 2017, her employer terminated her employment. The director, believing that the true reason for her termination was her age — she was in her late 60s — launched a civil lawsuit against her employer for age discrimination in violation of the New York State Human Rights Act and the New York City Human Rights Act.

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When you discover you have a disability that qualifies under the law, your employer is required to make a good faith effort to provide a reasonable accommodation for that disability. Sometimes, an employer may ultimately provide you with an accommodation, but only after months of delay and attempts at avoiding accommodating you. In those sorts of scenarios, the employer’s intransigence (even when followed by an ultimate approval) may amount to a refusal to accommodate and, with representation from a knowledgeable New York disability discrimination lawyer, you may be able to take that proof and build a successful Americans With Disabilities Act case.

As an example of this kind of circumstance, there’s the disability discrimination case of R.B., a lawyer in his 50s working in the legal department of a healthcare insurance company headquartered upstate.

In 2018, doctors diagnosed him with “pulmonary and cardiac sarcoidosis.” He underwent surgery to install a pacemaker but that was not enough. In August 2019, doctors placed him on a powerful immunosuppressive drug that required half-day absences from work to administer. According to R.B., both the Deputy General Counsel and the General Counsel began making comments around this time about how the company’s legal department “would benefit from hiring younger attorneys.”

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When it becomes necessary to initiate an employment discrimination lawsuit, you can probably expect your employer to throw up many arguments against you. They may say that you’ve filed too late. They may say you have no right to sue. They may contend that you did not comply with some aspect of a rule of trial procedure. The best way to prepare yourself to take on — and overcome — defense arguments like these is to ensure you have a powerful and knowledgeable New York age discrimination on your side from the start.

E.R.’s age discrimination case was an example of one of those instances where a worker overcame that kind of defense argument.

E.R. was a highly accomplished university professor. After 23 years at CUNY-Baruch College, he accepted a position at Long Island University in 2015. He was in his early 60s at the time. For his first three years at LIU, he served as the dean of the business school.

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When your employer retaliates against you at work because you engaged in some sort of protected activity (like pursuing a discrimination or harassment claim or assisting in someone else’s discrimination or harassment claim,) getting proof of that retaliation often isn’t easy. That negative performance review won’t say your “unsatisfactory” grade was the result of your discrimination complaint. When it comes to proving the retaliation you endured, rely on a knowledgeable New York discrimination lawyer to help you get the evidence you’ll need.

R.D. was one of those employees who allegedly endured retaliation for a discrimination complaint. She was an educator who began teaching at a public high school in Washington Heights in 1997. In 2005, she became an assistant principal.

Things presumably proceeded uneventfully until after Y.D. took over as principal in the fall of 2016. Y.D. was 18 years younger than R.D. and allegedly engaged in multiple acts of hostility, including ridiculing R.D. and undermining her with other administrators and teachers.

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Each successful employment discrimination lawsuit outcome has certain things in common with all other successful case results. One of the most fundamental things all of these have in common is a well-written complaint that does a good job clearly conveying the facts and that plainly and correctly lays out the applicable law. Each of us has certain things that we’re good at based on professional expertise. If you’re not an attorney, chances are writing a well-pled civil complaint isn’t one of them. Given how critical this piece is to your overall success, it is well worth your while to have an experienced New York workplace discrimination lawyer on your side from the very start.

A “well-written complaint” does certain things highly effectively. One of those things is language that clearly sets out the required elements of your claim and how the facts you alleged meet each of those.

An age discrimination complaint filed by a New York City doctor is a good example of this, as evidenced by the doctor’s success in defeating his former employer’s request for a dismissal of the lawsuit.

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If you’ve suffered discrimination at work, it is important to recognize that bringing a lawsuit that will end in success involves much more than just understanding the factual aspects of what happened. There are also tactical and procedural litigation strategies that can help maximize your odds of success. That’s why a knowledgeable New York employment discrimination lawyer is so important to your case. Your lawyer can take the facts you provide and then generate a winning plan.

A recent national origin and age discrimination case involving an NYPD detective shows ways in which this can be true. A.P., who was born in Russia in 1967, was a detective and a member of the Executive Protection Unit (EPU) charged with protecting the mayor.

During A.P.’s nearly three years with the EPU, 26 of the roughly 30 detectives with the EPU received promotions, but A.P. was not one of those detectives promoted. According to the detective, a “significant number” of the 26 promoted detectives were individuals with fewer years of service and were less qualified than him. Most allegedly were younger than him. Additionally, all were non-Russian.

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In nearly any civil lawsuit, one of the most important hurdles you, as a plaintiff, have to clear is the defense’s motion for summary judgment. If the defense wins, your case gets tossed before even making it to trial. If the defense loses, you may proceed, and you may also discover that the terms of settlement offers proposed by the defense are much fairer than they were before your victory on the summary judgment motion. Wherever you are in the process of pursuing your discrimination case – trial, dispositive pre-trial motions, or just getting started – it pays to have powerful and reliable legal representation from an experienced New York discrimination lawyer.

Here in New York City, workers harmed by discrimination have the advantage of multiple options. They may be able to bring claims under the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law, or both.

A recent age discrimination case involving a Brooklyn doctor gives a good view of how the process works, how you can use these laws to your benefit, and what it takes to defeat a defense motion for summary judgment.

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If you are familiar with federal discrimination law, then you likely know that age discrimination, like sex discrimination, race discrimination, disability discrimination, religious discrimination, and sexual orientation discrimination (among others) is prohibited. If an employer has fired you, demoted you, refused to hire you, or taken other adverse employment actions against you because you are older then, with the aid of a knowledgeable New York age discrimination lawyer, you can sue and win in court.

What you may not know, however, is that it is harder to win a federal age discrimination case than it is to win other types of federal employment discrimination cases. A bill that just passed the House of Representatives would change that and make the barrier against establishing a case of federal age discrimination the same as that for all other forms of federal workplace discrimination.

Age discrimination has been a violation of federal law since 1967 when Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). At that time, the degree of protection older workers received under the federal law was equal to the protection other groups (such as racial minorities and religious groups) received.

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As of mid-April 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has caused the loss of approximately 22 million jobs in the United States, based on the number of unemployment claims around the country since early March. With layoffs becoming increasingly common, New York City employment attorneys are seeing that more and more workers are being asked to sign severance agreements as they are shown the door. State and federal law regulate certain aspects of typical severance agreements, so New York City workers should consider seeking a legal opinion before signing anything.

What Is a Severance Agreement?

The term “severance agreement” can refer to any document that purports to show an agreement between an employer and an employee at the end of the employment relationship. A severance agreement is usually part of a “severance package,” which might include additional compensation besides wages or salary already owed to an employee. This could be a cash payment, stock options, or contributions to a retirement account.

Waivers of Rights in Severance Agreements

The employer, of course, expects something in return. In exchange for the additional compensation in a severance package, a severance agreement might contain a clause waiving the employee’s right to bring claims for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. The only way for a waiver of these rights to be enforceable is if the employer gives something in return. This is where severance agreements can be dangerous for workers.

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