Can Younger Employees Experience Age Discrimination? | Bantle & Levy



Can Younger Employees Experience Age Discrimination?

You want to be judged based on the work you do and the value you can bring, not how old you are. However, many employees experience age discrimination in the workplace. In many cases, it refers to older employees receiving unfair treatment due to their age. While many of the employees who experience age discrimination are treated unfairly for being older, this can happen to younger employees as well.

Most employees know that under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), they are protected from age discrimination in the workplace when they reach the age of 40, but what about younger employees? Find out what protections younger employees have against age discrimination at work. 

Are Younger Employees Protected from Age Discrimination?

Younger employees may face difficulties in the workplace due to their age, just as older employees may. In many states, discriminating against younger employees is treated just as seriously as discriminating against older employees, as they both can negatively impact employees. If you’ve been treated unfairly due to your age at work, don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do if you’re under 40 years old. While under the ADEA, which is a federal labor law in which only employees ages 40 and over are protected from age discrimination and harassment, employees in New York City have more protections available to them.

Under New York State and New York City laws, younger employees are also protected from age discrimination in the workplace. New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law prohibit employers from making employment decisions based on an employee’s age, even if you are younger than 40 years old.

ADEA Limitations for Older Employees

While the ADEA protects employees 40 years old and older from age discrimination, there are important limitations these employees must understand. Providing preferential treatment to older employees does not violate the ADEA, even if they are over 40. This means that if you’re 40 years old or older and you receive unfavorable treatment for being younger than other employees, the ADEA does not provide protections.

Additionally, the ADEA only applies to employers with 20 or more employees. Even if you are over the age of 40 and are being treated unfavorably for your age, this law does not protect you if your employer does not meet the employee threshold. Independent contractors also are not covered by the ADEA, even when they are over 40 and the employer has more than 20 employees. Although federal laws may not protect employees in cases like these, state and local laws may.

Protect Your Rights with Bantle & Levy

Knowing when you’re experiencing illegal employment discrimination can be difficult. Various laws offer different protections, and what laws apply to your age discrimination case may not be the same as someone else’s. To ensure you get the protection from discrimination and harassment that you deserve, you need an experienced employment discrimination attorney. 

Bantle & Levy can help you stand up to age discrimination. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. Contact us today.

Bantle & Levy
Bantle & Levy

Lee Bantle is a partner at Bantle & Levy LLP. He has extensive legal expertise, admitted to the bars of the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. With a distinguished academic background and clerkship experience, he has been recognized as a top-rated civil rights attorney and esteemed lawyer. In addition to his successful career, he has actively contributed to various legal organizations and serves as a faculty member for NYU's Annual Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges.


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