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Intersection of ageism and technology can result in illegal age discrimination

Technological advancements have drastically transformed every industry. Companies in every space have social media profiles; they do online marketing; they save files and data in the cloud; and most of their employees need some level of technical proficiency.

Stereotypes linking age and technical ability

Technological innovation can create some problems, though, as it pertains to older workers. In a technological world, older workers may feel that their employers are passing them over or replacing them with younger workers due to their age. It can be tricky to determine whether employer practices constitute age discrimination at work or in hiring. For example, employer assumptions about technical acuity and ability to take on technological responsibilities at work based on someone’s age may indeed be illegal when acted on to shut out older workers from new opportunities.

Most young adults today pick up technology rather quickly. It’s natural and intuitive for many of them, giving them an edge in certain jobs. While some older employees must learn today’s technology to perform their duties, younger workers grew up with it and often navigate it instinctively and learn more quickly. However, it is important to remember that every employee, regardless of their age, must be fairly considered for hiring, promotion and work assignments based on their skill, knowledge and experience – and not on an employer’s kneejerk assumption that someone’s age will help or hinder their technological contributions.

An attorney can investigate possible age discrimination and determine potential legal actions

Age discrimination in employment is unlawful under federal, New York state and New York City laws. New York State and City laws apply to more employees than the federal laws in this area. Federal law applies to discrimination based on employees aged 40 and older, while state and city laws prohibit negative employment decisions based on a candidate’s or employee’s age at any stage of life. Federal, state, and city law also provide different legal remedies, including age discrimination claims through government agencies and/or courts.

If you find yourself facing employer actions that lead you to believe that unlawful age discrimination may have occurred, ensure you are aware of your legal options by talking to an experienced and knowledgeable New York employment lawyer.


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The Attorneys of Katz Melinger PLLC