With the economy the way it is, there are more and more people in New York who are working in their 60s and later. Many businesses and companies value these older workers, as they have far more experience and skill than their younger counterparts. Other businesses, on the other hand, are looking for younger employees who can devote many years to the company. While there are both pros and cons to hiring both older and younger employees, employers cannot participate in age-based discrimination.
It can be hard to prove age-based discrimination, however. Rarely do employers say things like, “We are letting you go because you are too old” or “She is better-suited for this job because she is younger.” This leaves older employees or former employees and their employment law lawyers searching for evidence to support claims of discrimination.
This is not to say that an older employee will never win his or her age-based discrimination lawsuit, just that they often require skilled lawyers to connect pieces of evidence to their argument. In light of a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that makes it harder to prove age discrimination lawsuits, this just increases the need for a lawyer.
Despite all that was going against him, a now-62-year-old employee was told by a U.S. Court of Appeals that he could bring his age-based discrimination lawsuit against his former employer. The out-of-state trial court had originally dismissed his case, saying there was not enough evidence of age discrimination. The appeals court found that the fact that the employer was changing its reasons for firing the older employee raised the possibility that perhaps the company was lying.
Source: AARP, “Changing Reasons for Firing May Be Evidence of Age Discrimination,” Lisa McElroy, May 22, 2014