Bethlehem Age Discrimination Attorneys

Serving the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Area

Under federal and state law, most employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or prospective employees on the basis of age. Therefore, an employer may not make decisions as to hiring and firing, promotion, discipline, transfers, wages and benefits, work assignments and other terms, conditions or privileges of an individual’s employment because of the individual’s age.

Employers today will not typically discriminate in an open and explicit manner. For example, if an employer fires an employee because of his age, the employer will not typically acknowledge to the employee that he or she is being fired on account of his age.

However, just because discrimination is not open and obvious does not mean that it does not exist. One way an employee can prove discrimination on the basis of his age is to show that younger employees who are similarly situated to the discriminated-against employee were treated differently. If you have suffered an adverse employment action, such as a demotion, and similarly-situated co-workers of a younger age who engaged in the same behavior have not been demoted, you may have a discrimination claim against your employer.

Both federal and state statutes prohibit age discrimination in employment. The federal statute which prohibits age-based discrimination is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The analogous state statute is the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

There are some critical limitations with respect to claims of age discrimination. Both the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act defines “age” to mean an individual who is at least forty years old. Therefore, an employer may legally discriminate against a thirty-nine year-old employee in favor of a younger employee on the basis of age. Further, an employer may legally discriminate against an employee on the basis of the employee’s seniority or any “reasonable factor other than age,” even if the factor disproportionately applies to older individuals. Therefore, an employer generally may fire an employee whose longevity of service entitles him to a variety of fringe benefits, salary increases and other perquisites in order to reduce labor costs. Additionally, even if an employee is forty years old or older, he will not have an age discrimination claim if he was discriminated against in favor of an older employee.

If you believe you have been discriminated against at work on the basis of your age, call an employment discrimination attorney at Littner, Deschler & Littner right away to discuss your case. We can assist you in understanding your options and evaluating the strength of your case. Employees and prospective employees should be advised that there are strict and relatively short deadlines for filing a discrimination claim with the applicable state or federal agency. Do not lose your right to bring a claim and get the relief you deserve. Schedule a consultation with Littner, Deschler & Littner today.