If you a New Jersey employee between the ages of 18 and 70, you have rights against discrimination toward you due to your age. Most people think that age discrimination laws protect only older workers, but in some cases, they can help those who are at the other end of the age spectrum.
It’s important to know your rights under both state and federal laws. For today’s purposes, however, we will focus on the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD).
How are you protected?
Bosses and labor unions may not harass employees because of their age. They also are prohibited from terminating or demoting employees due to age or refusing to hire or promote them. Unless they are over 70, workers cannot be forced to retire. In the case of executives and policy-makers with pensions of $27,000 or more each year, tenured professionals at universities and judges, this does not apply.
Also, on the job, a company shall not discriminate because of age for employee assignments, benefits or salaries.
Are there exceptions?
There are. For some positions, age is considered to be a “bona fide occupational qualification” for the position. Some branches of law enforcement could fall into this category, as could actors for a specific role in a production.
Age discrimination could be made to look like something else
Unfortunately, some companies try to skirt the age discrimination laws of the United States and New Jersey. Employers may try to get rid of older employees under the guise of a reduction in force or some other ruse. For instance, a company might suddenly make a requirement for the employees that would be very difficult for an older worker to meet but also has little to do with their company role. For instance, a sales manager might suddenly have to have a certain number of Instagram followers even though that has nothing to do with their job function or duties.
Those type of cases can be harder to prove. But that does not mean that you have to sit back and allow your rights to be trampled. Learn more about how you can fight back in the face of age discrimination here in New Jersey.