Age discrimination is all too common, and it can be difficult to prove. In fact, many victims of age discrimination may not realize exactly what is happening to them and that it is against the law. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is the federal law that protects workers and job applicants from age-related employment discrimination. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is the state law that provides protection from age discrimination. There are big differences between the two laws.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The ADEA protects most workers and job applicants who are 40 years old or older from employment discrimination based on their age. Workers who are not protected under the ADEA include independent contractors, elected officials, and military personnel. The ADEA does not apply to all employers, but does apply to the following:
- Employers with at least 20 employees
- State and local governments
- Employment agencies
- Labor organizations
The ADEA does prohibit employers from discriminating against younger workers based on age.
Unlike the New Jersey LAD, the ADEA limits employees' remedies to their actual economic losses and an equal amount for liquidated damages in cases involving willful violations.
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
The New Jersey LAD protects people over the age of 18 from discrimination by employers, labors unions, and employment agencies. Unlike the ADEA, the LAD protects independent contractors from age discrimination because it bars discrimination in business transactions. While the ADEA favors older people, under the state law, "age discrimination" means discriminating against someone for being older or younger than others. While there are some exceptions, the LAD generally prohibits employers from refusing to hire, firing, laying off, and forcing retirement, due to a person's age.
Unlike the ADEA, the LAD permits employees to claim uncapped emotional and punitive damages.
At Lenzo & Reis, LLC, our attorneys represent people throughout New Jersey with age discrimination claims under both state and federal law.
If you believe that you have been the victim of age discrimination, please call the New Jersey employment attorneys of Lenzo & Reis, LLC, at 973-845-9922 or email us for a free case evaluation.