Many people in New York experience ageism, which is discrimination based on their age. The problem is especially concerning in the tech industry, where there may be a perception that younger workers are more suited to the fast-paced environment. Employers who discriminate against someone due to his or her age risk facing legal consequences.
In many industries, advancing age is associated with increased experience and proficiency. In the tech industry, however, many workers find that their opportunities shrink rather than grow over the years. The average worker in the tech industry is about five years younger than those in other industries.
Age discrimination in the tech industry has been a problem in Silicon Valley due to the concentration of tech businesses in the area. Since 2008, over 250 age discrimination claims were filed with the Fair Employment and Housing Department in California against Silicon Valley's top 150 tech firms. The number of discrimination claims based on age is 28 percent higher than those based on race in California's tech industry.
An employment lawyer may be able to help employees who have been the target of discrimination, workplace harassment, wrongful termination and wage and hour violations. It is illegal for employers to decline to hire or terminate the employment of an employee based on unlawful discrimination because of the worker's age, race, gender, pregnancy or disability. Employees who have experienced discrimination may need to file a claim with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) before proceeding with a lawsuit in federal court.
An attorney may be able to advise workers about the best way to proceed with their claims. In some cases, it may be best to approach a company's human resources department with concerns about discrimination. In other circumstances, it may be best to keep the complaint confidential and speak only with a lawyer.