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Court rules subgroup age discrimination claim can proceed

Employers in New York who discriminate against workers because of their age could face legal repercussions. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers who are over the age of 40 from disparate treatment in employment decisions. A recent ruling in the Third Circuit court may expand the ADEA's definition of age discrimination to include subgroups.

The decision in Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works involved a group of employees who were all over the age of 50. The former Pittsburgh Glass Works employees claimed that they were laid off in a discriminatory reduction in force. According to the plaintiffs, the employer favored workers who were in their 40s over workers who were over the age of 50.

The Third Circuit Court decided that the plaintiffs' age discrimination case could proceed despite prior rulings that denied subgroups the right to bring their ADEA claims forward. In prior decisions, courts have ruled that an employer can only be found guilty of age discrimination as defined by the ADEA if that employer discriminates against all workers over the age of 40. Since the Third Circuit court contradicted the rulings of other circuit courts, the Supreme Court may have to review the issue.

Many people are unaware of the protections that have been put in place for workers over the age of 40. If someone suspects that his or her employee rights were violated under the ADEA, he or she may want to speak with an attorney. A lawyer may be able to determine whether an employer has a history of age discrimination and then help workers who were discriminated against put together claims.

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