The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 makes it illegal to fire people based on their age alone. However, it may be difficult for a New Jersey worker or anyone else to prove that it was the primary factor for being terminated. To prove a case of age discrimination, it may be necessary to look at overall trends within the company.
For example, people could show that older workers weren't being promoted or that they were the only ones who got laid off. Ageism may also be easier to prove if younger people hold the majority of leadership positions or overall positions within a company. Of course, it is possible that a supervisor or owner made a statement indicating that a person's age was the reason why he or she was being let go. If such a statement is made, a worker should look for anyone who could verify that fact.
Those who are seeking to pursue an age discrimination case should scour their personnel file ahead of time. If a person received written warnings or had negative performance reviews, they could be used as evidence that a termination had nothing to do with age. However, workers who believe that they could win an age discrimination case can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for help.
Workers who experience unlawful discrimination at work may be entitled to pursue legal action against their employer. This may be done with the help of the EEOC as well as a private attorney. Legal counsel may be able to review evidence of written or oral statements that could verify that age was a factor in a termination.