If you are 40 years or older and your employer makes hiring decisions or employment decisions based on your age and not on your qualifications, skills and experience then you may have suffered from age discrimination. Fortunately, there are federal, New York state, and New York city laws that make it illegal for employers to discriminate against an employee or applicant due to their age.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal act that makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against an employee or applicant or make employment decisions based on the fact that the person is 40 years of age or older. This federal act, however, only applies to companies that employee 20 or more employees. In 1990, an amendment to ADEA was added called the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). This act made it illegal for employees to not offer older workers the same benefits that younger workers received.
New York state laws and the New York City Human Rights Law protect older employees and older applicants a lot more than the federal ADEA. In New York specifically, it is illegal for companies with 4 or more employees (federally it's 20 or more employees) to make employment decisions, hiring decisions, or firing decisions based on the fact that a person is 40 years or older. There is an exception to this law, and that is if being a certain age is critically necessary to the job position.
Employers cannot layoff, fire, or pressure employees into retirement and hire younger less qualified employees just because they want a more youthful image for their company. It is also illegal for them to not hire you or pass you over for promotions based on how old you are or how old you look.
For more information about your particular case consult an experienced attorney.