A lawsuit filed in the Superior Court in Union County alleges that a Plainfield police officer was pressured to retire early after his supervisors thought him too old and sick to stay on the job, in violation of anti-discrimination laws, according to a recent article at NJ.com.
The officer, a veteran police lieutenant, claims he was pressured to retire by the police director and a sergeant at the age of 57, after he was hospitalized with a blood pressure-related condition. The lieutenant says he capitulated to these demands, only to see himself replaced with a younger officer.
The officer had been involved in disputes within the department before. In March 2016, the Plainfield council voted unanimously to pursue an independent investigation of claims that black police officers, like the lieutenant, were being threatened with harsher discipline than their white co-workers. However, the investigation never occurred.
The lieutenant’s lawsuit does not claim he was discriminated against due to his race. It does, however, claim that he was discriminated against due to his age and due to the department’s view of his disabilities.
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers age 40 and older from adverse employment actions that are related to their age. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects workers with disabilities from adverse employment actions related to their disabilities. Both laws require that actions taken by employers be based on other factors, such as how well the person is actually doing his or her job.
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Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination against workers due to their age or disabilities – whether those disabilities are real or merely assumed to exist. Workers who face discrimination can work with an experienced employment law lawyer to help understand their options and fight for their rights. To learn more, contact the attorneys at Begelman & Orlow today for a free and confidential consultation. Our toll-free number is 866-627-7052.
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