Los Angeles Age Discrimination Attorney
Workplace Age Discrimination in California
In California, federal and state laws prohibit employers and prospective employers from discriminating against workers and job candidates based on age. If you are 40 years old or older, you are protected against age discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. You cannot be excluded, expelled, or restricted because of your age. The law specifically prohibits discrimination and generalizations about your health, work habits, productivity, and job performance.
If you are 40 or older, and you believe an employer or prospective employers has discriminated or retaliated against you based on your age, reach out to our team at KJT Law Group. Our Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys are driven by a desire to stand up for ordinary workers and protect their rights against the best interests of businesses, corporations, and other entities. We treat every client as if they are our only client, and we will be there to guide you throughout the entire legal process.
Facing age discrimination in the workplace? Contact KJT Law Group at (818) 873-0181 for a free consultation today.
What Is Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination is the practice of treating a worker unfairly based on their age. In California, age discrimination is illegal. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate based on age against anyone who is 40 years old or older. Specifically, FEHA defines the protected class as “the chronological age of any individual who has reached his or her 40th birthday.”
Age discrimination can take many forms. Some examples include being:
- Fired, let go, or laid off
- Demoted or not promoted
- Forced to transfer
- Denied equal pay
- Denied medical leave
- Forced to retire
- Denied reinstatement
- Forced to take a pay reduction
- Passed over by hiring managers
Notably, California age discrimination laws do not apply to employers with fewer than five regular employees. Additionally, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination against individuals 40 and older but only applies to private employers with at least 20 regular employees, as well as state government agencies. So, if you work for an employer that only has four or fewer employees, you may not be covered by age discrimination laws.
Proving Age Discrimination in California
To prove that your employer discriminated against you based on your age, you will need to prove the following:
- Your employer was covered by federal and/or state age discrimination laws
- Your employer discriminated against you or treated you unfairly based on your age
- You were 40 years old or older when the discriminatory acts occurred
- You were negatively affected by your employer’s actions
It can be very difficult to prove that an employer has discriminated against you based on your age. In fact, because instances of age discrimination are often subtle, you may even have trouble telling if your employer has treated you unfairly due to your age.
Employers know that age discrimination is illegal. Because of this, they will rarely—if ever—tell an employee that they are being fired, let go, denied equal pay, or denied a promotion based on their age.
In some cases, to get around age discrimination laws, an employer may claim to be letting the “highest-paid employees” go, thereby pressuring older employees into retirement. An employer may only recruit applicants for new jobs from high schools or universities as a way to avoid considering older workers. The exclusive use of such screening programs can be a way of evading age discrimination laws, but it is still discriminatory.
Some signs that your employer may engage in discriminatory practices against older employees include:
- Terminating employees who have been with the company for a long time
- Laying off or firing employees with higher salaries
- Pressuring or forcing employees to retire/retire early
- Sudden, unexplained changes in work duties or performance reviews
- Retaliating against an employee who files an age discrimination complaint
- Only hiring young new employees
- Joking or making comments about age (whether a specific employee’s age or age in general)
- Creating or fostering a hostile work environment based on age
In some cases, discrimination may not be directly related to age, yet it may still qualify as age discrimination. This could be the case if your employer has general policies or practices that disproportionately affect older employees. For example, if your work has a policy against hiring managers with more than 30 years of experience, this may not appear to be discriminatory against older job candidates, but it is highly likely to disparately impact those over a certain age.
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You can sue an employer for age discrimination in California, but this is rarely the first step. First, you have to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Regardless of which entity you choose, there are certain steps you must follow when filing your claim. Our Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys are happy to walk you through this process and protect your rights every step of the way. We can help ensure that you feel empowered in moving forward in the legal process and can assist in building the strongest possible claim on your behalf.
In many cases, age-related disputes are settled through mediation. During mediation, the two opposing parties—the person filing the complaint and the party against whom the complaint is filed—attempt to resolve various issues with the assistance of a third-party mediator. However, mediation can only be successful when both parties are able to compromise and agree on every aspect of the resolution. When this is not possible, you may file a lawsuit against your employer.
Should you choose to sue your employer, your age discrimination complaint will be served upon your employer and/or anyone else named in your lawsuit. The defendant(s) will have time to respond with a formal answer, and the case will proceed through the litigation process. At any point during litigation, it may be possible to resolve the lawsuit through negotiating a settlement. However, if your employer refuses to settle your case, our attorneys at KJT Law Group are fully prepared to represent you at trial.
Let our experienced attorneys lead the fight. No case is too small and no odds are too daunting for us to roll up our sleeves, go to work, and win for our clients.
At KJT Law Group, our experienced Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys have an in-depth understanding of federal and state employment laws. We understand the challenges you are facing, and we are here to help you through this difficult time. Our goal is to help you find a solution so that you can receive the fair compensation you deserve.
Because we limit our overall caseload, we are able to provide each of our clients with highly attentive, personalized legal services. Our team is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We do not charge anything for initial consultations, and we only collect attorney fees if/when we win your case.
We provide legal services in English, Spanish, and Armenian. Request a free consultation today by calling us at (818) 873-0181 or by submitting an online contact form.