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Age Discrimination

Long Island Age Discrimination Lawyers

Discriminating against employees because of their age is illegal under federal, New York State, and New York City laws. Employers cannot decide to negatively affect a job applicant or employee’ job such as by firing, failing to promote, laying off, failing to provide certain benefits, or assigning less preferable work assignments simply because of their age. The Long Island age discrimination lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC are experienced in handling age discrimination lawsuits.

There are several signals that may be an indicator of age discrimination. For example, if an employer lays off older employees on the basis that the company is downsizing or having financial difficulty but then immediately hires a wave of younger employees, this is a red flag.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) each protect workers on Long Island from age discrimination. However, New York’s age discrimination laws are broader than the ADEA. Some of the main differences between these laws are illustrated in the chart below:

New York State & New York City Law (NYSHRL/NYCHRL)Federal Age Discrimination Law (ADEA)
Age Protected:18 years old or older40 years old or older
Number of Employees Needed:4 or more employees20 or more employees
Reverse Age Discrimination:ProtectedNot protected

Just because employers cannot discriminate against job applicants or employees, does not mean that every time an older employee is not hired, it is because of age discrimination. For example, employers are allowed to not hire an applicant or impose mandatory retirement ages because of a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ), meaning a trait or characteristic possessed by employees in protected class. Talking to a Long Island employment attorney at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC can help determine whether or not age discrimination exists in the workplace.

To establish that singling out an employee because of his or her age is appropriate, employers must show that excluding the employee in that particular age group is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business. Courts may be more likely to agree with the employer’s BFOQ defense if for example, the public’s safety may otherwise be at issue.

Although this defense is very narrow and courts are very careful when deciding these cases, a BFOQ exception relating to age has allowed airlines to impose mandatory retirement age requirements for airline pilots. Courts have allowed this defense for airline pilots on the basis that it is reasonable to believe that airline pilots, after reaching a certain age, are more likely to make errors that could pose a safety risk and possibly endanger the lives of others.

Unlike what most people may think, older and younger employees are protected from age discrimination in New York. If an employer fires several young employees simply because the employer is biased toward younger individuals this is called reverse discrimination and it is not tolerated under New York law. Reverse discrimination laws however, do not prevent employers from setting certain hiring standards based on experience. In other words, job postings that require a minimum level of experience are permissible as long as it is not directly correlated to age.

Harassment Based on Age

Harassing employees because of their age is illegal and is a subset of age discrimination. Harassment occurs when employers creates a hostile work environment because of the employee’s age. For example, if you fear going to work because of an employer’s intimidating or offensive behavior that relates to your age, then you may be protected.

Repetitive age-based comments made in a demeaning manner may create a hostile work environment. It is important to understand that while hostile work environments are prohibited, random comments made in a joking manner or that only occur once or twice may not be protected. Famighetti & Weinick PLLC's Long Island age discrimination lawyers can review your age discrimination case.


Employees who complain about age discrimination or hostile work environments and are subsequently fired, demoted, or suffer another negative employment action are also protected. For example, employees cannot be fired simply because they either filed a complaint internally with the company’s human resources department or filed a discrimination claim with a federal or state agency such as the EEOC.

Victims of workplace age discrimination should speak to an experienced Long Island age discrimination attorney, such as one of the Long Island age discrimination attorneys of Famighetti & Weinick PLLC.

Client Reviews
From my personal experience, Matthew Weinick has always managed to go above and beyond as an attorney. While handling my case, he was very professional, supportive and reassuring. It was easy to see his devotion in bringing me justice from day one. I saw how invested he was which motivated me to take the stand and fight for my rights. I am extremely grateful that he agreed to take on my case and I could not have asked for better legal representation or consult. Ariel Kaygisiz
Very grateful for all the hard work! Mr. Famighetti did an amazing job. He was very knowledgeable and I was always kept up to date on the details of our matter. I appreciate the attentiveness and the time taken to explain each step and answer any questions I had during the process. I would absolutely recommend Mr. Famighetti and his firm Famighetti & Weinick to anyone. Danielle
Matt Weinick is an excellent attorney. With his assistance I was able to get exonerated from false allegations against me. Sara
Mr. Weinick is the utmost professional. I called him for help with an employment issue and I was in his office the next day for a free, almost hour long, consultation. I ultimately retained him for his services and his professionalism continued, he is extremely talented and well versed in employment law and he answers emails immediately, he even emailed me a few times to check on how things were progressing. I cannot thank Mr. Weinick enough for his help, and I wouldn't hesitate to call him again if necessary. Hopefully there will be no need, but in today's employment landscape you never know. Thanks again. Tom Orlik