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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

My NJ Boss Fires Older Women but Not Older Men

Older women may experience more age discrimination in the workplace than men. Sex discrimination and age discrimination go hand-in-hand and are a workplace reality for many older female workers.Government statistics bear out that more older women than men report age discrimination at work. This double discrimination punch causes many older female workers to fear physically appearing older to a much greater extent than is experienced by similarly situated older male workers.

If the employer only wants “new blood’ as to the female workforce but not the male, the female worker may have a sex discrimination claim as in addition to an age claim. Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, a female employee filing an employment discrimination lawsuit may plead both age and sex discrimination within the same lawsuit. 

When an older woman is terminated because of her age, she may have valid age discrimination claim with few exceptions, i.e., if a certain age is a bona fide occupational qualification for her position and not merely the employer’s personal preference to environmentally decorate the workplace with more youthful looking women. A bona fide occupational qualification is a narrowly-tailored exception requiring workers to retire at a certain age in defined professions where public safety issues control, i.e., for example, as for certain airline pilots. 

It is not only in the US, that seniors are the largest growing age demographic. According to a study by the United Nations, the population aged 65 and over, is growing faster globally than all other age groups. According to the study, for the first time in history, persons aged 65 or over 65 outnumbered children under five years of age globally in 2018. The number of persons aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050. Sixteen percent of persons worldwide, i.e., one of six persons in the world, will be over age 65 by 2050; one in four persons living in Europe and Northern America could be aged 65 or over

In the United States, the generic class of “seniors” and senior citizen workers is no longer those who are age 65 and older. Due to economic necessity and life-style choice, it is now common for both female and male workers to keep working beyond the age of 70 and into their 80's. According to the US Census Bureau, persons in the United States who comprise the most rapidly growing segment of the generic "senior" age group are persons in the more upper end of this “seniors” age group, i.e., those workers age 85 and older. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 about 40 percent of persons ages 55 and older were working or actively looking for work, (this percentage is known as a labor force participation rate). Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that this percentage to increase the fastest for the oldest portions of the US population, most notably, populations ages 65 to 75 and oldest through 2024. In stark contrast, there is expected to be little change in participation rates for most other age groups in the labor force in projection to the 2024 decade. 

According to the World Health Organization, women generally outlive men on an average by six to eight years. To keep pace with the changing age demographics, NJ employers would be prudent to adhere to discrimination laws and allow older female to remain employed as they do similarly situated younger and/or male employees.

Don’t Sit on Your Rights

If you think you are being discriminated against because of age or that your boss may be getting ready to terminate you because of your age, it is important to consult with an experienced age discrimination attorney to determine what your options are.

What You Can Do

If you believe that your employer used, or may use, age as the determining factor as to who to keep and who to let go, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in age discrimination. I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in representing older workers.

If you are being subjected to such unlawful workplace discrimination, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout New Jersey, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in Central, Western and Northern NJ to meet with clients.


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