The New York State Human Rights Law, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protect employees over the age of 40 from age discrimination. The ADEA, which applies to employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies, makes it unlawful for an employer “to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age.” The statute protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment. It not only applies to hiring, discharge, and promotion, but also prohibits discrimination in employee benefit plans such as health coverage and pensions and applies to employers who have “twenty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.”
Replacing Older Workers
It is illegal to replace a person over 40 with a person under 40, if age is the reason. It is also illegal to replace a person over forty with a younger person who is also forty.
Older Worker’s Benefit Protection Act
The Older Worker’s Benefit Protection Act provides protection of benefits or benefit packages for older workers. According to the act, an employer must provide equal benefits for older workers as they do for their younger counterparts. An employer can accomplish this by either providing packages that are equal in benefit or by spending the same amount of money on each person. An individual cannot waive his right under this act, unless that waiver is knowing and voluntary.