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FAQs About Age Discrimination In The Workplace: Statistics to Know


ne out of every four American workers is aged 55 or older. Despite this, age discrimination remains prevalent in workplaces, leading to exclusion from employment opportunities for many individuals in this age group. The pandemic prompted numerous older Americans to exit the workforce, and with the reduced threat of COVID-19, many are eager to rejoin. However, the challenge of overcoming age discrimination is proving to be a significant obstacle in their efforts to return to the workforce. 

So, What is Age Discrimination?

Age discrimination can be defined as treating someone unfavorably because of their age. It can occur at any stage of employment, from hiring and promotions to layoffs and retirement. In the state of New York, there are laws in place to protect individuals from being discriminated against based on their age.

This article will address frequently asked questions regarding age discrimination in employment law in New York.


In New York, the Age Discrimination Act (ADEA) is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination against individuals aged 40 years or older. The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees and protects employees from discrimination based on age in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, and wages.

What are the Protections Provided by ADEA?

The ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on their age. It also prohibits retaliation against an individual for filing an age discrimination complaint. This means that employers cannot fire, demote, harass or deny benefits to an employee because of their age.

What is the Difference Between ADEA and New York State Human Rights Law?

The New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) also prohibits employment discrimination based on age, but it applies to employers of all sizes, unlike ADEA which only applies to employers with 20 or more employees. Additionally, the NYSHRL extends protection to individuals of all ages, not just those aged 40 or older.

“I don’t care how old you are—fifty, sixty, or seventy. Your value doesn’t diminish with each birthday.”

― Bonnie Marcus

How Can I File an Age Discrimination Complaint in New York?

If you believe you have been discriminated against based on your age, you can take legal action to address the issue. Seeking legal counsel, like employment lawyers at Stewart Lee Karlin Law Group, PC; can help address age discrimination concerns and protect your rights in the workplace. Once you meet and determine your best course of action, your counsel can assist in things like filing a complaint. You can do so with either the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) or the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Specifically, the DHR handles investigations for complaints filed under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), while the EEOC is responsible for investigating complaints under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). 

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