Los Angeles Age Discrimination Attorney

Workplace Age Discrimination in California

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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) 507-8525 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:
  • Demoted or not promoted

  • Forced to transfer

  • Denied equal pay

  • Denied medical leave
  • Forced to retire
  • 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.

Age discrimination can take many forms. Some examples include being:
  • Hearing age-related comments or insults
  • Seeing a patter of hiring younger employees
  • Older employees being turned down for promotions

  • Being overlooked for work assignments

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.

Reach out to schedule a free consultation with us today. Call (818) 507-8525 or contact us online to get started.

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