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An Aging Workforce

Despite the existence of federal and state laws that protect employees from discrimination on the basis of age, a high percentage of the individuals who call our office every day do so because of age discrimination.

An Aging Workforce

Studies show that the American workforce is, and has been, aging. The effects of the Great Recession impacted workers who were nearing retirement. Many of those employees, even those who did not lose their jobs during the economic downturn, were adversely affected by falling home values and the declining stock market. Yet others, who remained employed, took on added financial responsibility for adult children who became unemployed. Those factors caused widespread delays in retirement. The trend of Americans remaining in the workforce long after traditional retirement ages was not, however, limited to the period of the Great Recession. Instead, studies show that this trend continues. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 30% of individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 will still be working by 2022.

While recent research shows that older workers benefit employers because statistically they tend to be experienced and loyal, can hit the ground running, and have life-long perspectives that lend to complex problem solving, this group of workers continues to be subject to increasing discrimination because of outdated, outmoded, and incorrect perceptions. Shockingly, a 2013 AARP report found that 64 percent of workers between the ages of 45 and 74 witnessed or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Sadly, 93% of those workers reported that age discrimination is common. Studies further show that most workers are likely to experience discrimination in their 50s – a relatively young age during which employees have the greatest earning potential.

The devastation reaped upon workers who are targeted because of their age often has long-term consequences. For example, most “older” workers have a difficult time finding replacement work after being laid off or terminated. When they do find replacement work, the pay and benefits tend to be less favorable than that provided by their former jobs. This impact is particularly pronounced for female workers.

Age Discrimination in New Jersey

Age discrimination, or the treatment of someone unfavorably due to their age, is prohibited by both state and federal law. In New Jersey, the statute making age discrimination illegal is set out in N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. The law holds that age discrimination based on the age of any employee is illegal, whether the employee is targeted for being older or younger. New Jersey’s age discrimination law is broader than federal law, which only makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals 40 years or older.

Age discrimination is not always obvious, and any employee who suspects they have been discriminated against due to their age should contact an employment law attorney right away. Some factors that may support an inference of age discrimination include a prior strong performance record, replacement by a substantially younger employee(s), and/or documented instances of ageist comments by your employer.

If you believe your employer has discriminated against you because of your age, our New Jersey Employment Attorneys at Lenzo & Reis, LLC, can help. Our firm regularly represents New Jersey employees facing discrimination, harassment, and retaliation at work. Contact us today at (973) 845-9922 for a free case evaluation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Professional and Knowledgeable Attorney. At what was supposed to be the highest point in my career suddenly became the most harassing and lowest point of my career and I was passed over for a promotion. Not because the other person was more qualified than I was, but because I followed the law and did the right thing and the people I worked for did not like that. After researching several attorneys, my wife and I found Claudia, and the decision to retain her was the best decision we ever made. After explaining our case to Claudia, we found that she was not only extremely professional but a very caring human being. Throughout the entire process of our case, Claudia was there with us every step of the way. She explained every single proceeding that we had to go through and guided us, not only as a professional attorney in and out of court, but personally as a caring and understanding person. Because of her extensive working knowledge of employment and labor laws, Claudia was able to successfully resolve our case. My wife and I will always be extremely grateful for Claudia’s hard work and dedication, and we highly recommend Claudia Reis to anyone seeking an attorney who practices in employment and labor laws." John
★★★★★
"Professionalism, integrity, and determination. Outstanding representation! Chris Lenzo did an outstanding job in my employment discrimination case. He responded to my questions in a timely fashion, provided clear communication through each step of the process, and handled my case in an honest and straight forward manner. Chris’s expertise in employment law along with his hard work ensured justice would prevail in my case and got me the compensation I deserved. Likewise, Chris’s law firm staff was professional, courteous, organized, and effective. I highly recommend Chirs Lenzo’s firm to anyone with an employment legal matter in New Jersey or New York." Sofia
★★★★★
"Remarkable professional. I have worked with Ms. Reis and her firm for the past three years. During the consultation process, you will immediately experience her compassion as she offers suggestions and guides you through the difficult situation you are dealing with. Her attention to detail, timely follow up and candid manner ensured me that I was well-protected and represented. Ms. Reis always went above and beyond to protect me legally. She is a very strong and tough (when necessary) advocate for the individual she represents. Her support staff is equally diligent. I would recommend her without reservation." A.M.