Job seekers in New York who have suffered from age-based employment discrimination when applying for a position might wonder how they will be able to prove it. Although some employers make a practice of age discrimination quite obvious, this kind of blatant discrimination is rare. In most cases, an investigation into the employer's hiring process will be necessary to prove that it took place.
When an employer makes age discrimination obvious during the interview, this is most likely direct evidence. An example of this type of evidence of age discrimination would be an employer who asks a job applicant when they plan to retire or how much longer they are planning on working. Questions about an applicant's exact age or graduation year could also be direct evidence of age discrimination.
Even without direct evidence of age discrimination, a job applicant may be able to prove that discrimination took place by showing that there was disparate treatment. Disparate treatment happens when an employer passes over the best candidate for a job in favor of someone younger and less qualified. For example, if the older job applicant had a more advanced degree and more experience than the applicant who was hired, the employer would have the burden to prove that something other than age influenced their hiring decision.
An age discrimination claim can also be filed in situations where the job requirements had a disparate impact on older applicants. In order to bring this type of claim, the plaintiff would have to show that the job requirements negatively effected older applicants but were completely unnecessary for business reasons. An attorney can assist a victim of age discrimination in gathering enough evidence to build a strong claim.
Source: AOL Jobs, "3 Ways To Prove You Weren't Hired Due To Age Discrimination", Donna Ballman, Feb. 24, 2015