Age discrimination is an issue that workers and jobseekers over the age of 40 may experience. In fact, a recent AARP survey found that 61 percent of workers over 45 years old reported they had experienced age discrimination. The survey’s participants were presently employed or looking for work. Fortunately, there are federal and state laws that offer legal protections against age discrimination. These protections help jobseekers and workers who are currently employed.
Workers and jobseekers can utilize protections under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In addition, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 offers legal options if your employer illegally denied you benefits.
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What is Age Discrimination?
As the term implies, age discrimination is where employers illegally discriminate against older workers or jobseekers. California’s FEHA offers protections for workers and jobseekers 40 years of age and older. The ADEA also protects workers 40 years and older from age discrimination.
Workplace discrimination is not always readily apparent. However, you may notice warning signs that include frequent negative comments as well as emails and jokes about your age. Your job duties and workload may also change, and in some cases, your employer may give a younger employee your job. Wrongful termination is a common form of age discrimination, especially in the Bay Area’s tech industry. Employers may also develop policies that negatively impact only older employees.
Jobseekers also experience age discrimination. Some companies may attempt to limit their search to younger workers or may outright deny older applicants.
There are differences between the ADEA and FEHA. The ADEA applies to companies with at least 20 employees. On the other hand, FEHA applies to employers with at least five employees.
Can I Sue for Age Discrimination in California?
Age discrimination is generally difficult to prove, but it is not impossible. You should always speak with an attorney if you believe your employer or a potential employer is guilty of age discrimination. Evidence is very important with any discrimination claim, including for age discrimination. A California employment law attorney could help you review whether enough evidence is available to pursue further legal action.
If you experienced age discrimination, you may file a report with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Both agencies may decide enough evidence exists to investigate your discrimination claim. Additional legal options, such as a lawsuit, could be available. You should speak with an attorney to determine which legal options may be available for your situation.
There are risks involved with not contacting an attorney before starting this process. Retaliation is commonplace in the American job market, and you could face negative employment actions. Even though retaliation is illegal, it is best to have an attorney representing your needs so he or she can help you take the appropriate actions if the worst occurs.
At the Law Office of Christopher Baudino, we have a commitment to helping Californians who suffered harm due to workplace discrimination. You may have legal options if your employer targeted you with age discrimination in the workplace. Our California labor lawyer can help you assess potential options for taking legal action against the offending party.
If you experienced age discrimination while looking for a job or at your workplace, then you should reach out to a California labor lawyer for legal assistance. Our employment law firm in Walnut Creek may be able to help resolve your situation.
Our employment attorney in Walnut Creek can help you determine if age discrimination is occurring and which potential legal options might be available.
The Law Office of Christopher Baudino takes employment discrimination cases in Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas. Contact us for a consultation by using our online case review form.
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