What Constitutes Age Discrimination in California?
Age discrimination is the result of employees over the age of 40 experiencing unfair treatment on the job based specifically on age.
Unfortunately, it happens more than most employees think and is illegal under both state and federal laws.
If you are being discriminated against at work because you are forty or older, contact our Los Angeles County employment lawyers today to learn more about your rights and options to pursue your employer for the appropriate legal remedy.
What Laws Protect California Employees from Age Discrimination?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is the federal law that forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.
The ADEA applies to private employers with 20 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations, and the federal government.
The ADEA prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Similar to the ADEA, the California Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA) prohibits age discrimination for workers over the age of 40 in all areas of employment. However, the coverage extends to employers with five or more full- or part-time employees.
Both the ADEA and FEHA make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against employees who file age discrimination complaints or participate in age discrimination court proceedings.
What are the Most Common Signs of Age Discrimination in California Workplaces?
Age discrimination may be difficult to identify, simply because no one expects to be singled out for being older. The reality is, age discrimination is rampant in workplaces across the country.
A recent AARP survey found that:
- About 3 in 5 older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace
- Nearly 1 in 4 workers aged 45 and older have been subjected to negative comments about their age from supervisors or coworkers
- 76% of older workers see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding a new job
Common signs, behaviors, and actions of age discrimination include, but are not limited to:
- Age-based workplace harassment
- Being denied a promotion
- Being passed over for more challenging work assignments
- Comments meant to insinuate old age
- Disproportionate hiring of younger employees
- Illegal wage determinations
- Inequality in job benefits
- Insults regarding age-related impairments related to hearing or lack thereof
- Isolation of older employees
- Little opportunity for advancement for older workers
- Mandatory retirement
- Older employees are assumed not to understand technology
- Older employees are unevenly laid-off
- Receiving a performance improvement plan
- Senior employees are excluded from out-of-work activities or social events
- Targeting of older workers in layoffs/staff reductions
- Unfair or unreasonable disciplinary action
- Younger, less qualified employees receive bigger projects or opportunities
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