California Age Discrimination Lawyers
Representing Employees Who Are Experiencing Workplace Ageism
Ageism in the workplace cost the U.S. economy $850 billion in GDP in 2018, according to AARP. Americans should be able to work in an environment free of discrimination, including bias related to age. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against older workers solely on the basis of their age.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workers 55 and older is expected to grow at 5.5 times the rate of the overall labor force. Protecting older workers from age-based discrimination is becoming increasingly important.
Federal and state anti-discrimination laws consider persons over the age of 40 a “protected class.” Employers cannot legally hire only people under the age of 40 any more than they can only hire men or refuse to hire Hispanics.
If you are 40 and older and believe you were passed over for a promotion, were not hired, offered less pay, or experienced any other discriminatory action only because of your age, contact Valiant Law. Tell our attorneys about your case in a free initial consultation. Contact us online or call (909) 254-5771.
Federal vs. State Age Discrimination Laws
At the federal level, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 covers most private-sector employers with at least 20 employees. The ADEA expressly forbids discriminating against anyone over the age of 40 with respect to any term or condition of employment. In addition, an employer may be liable for any age-based harassment an employee suffers on the job.
At the state level, California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA) contains similar age discrimination protections. But the critical difference is the state law applies to all private employers with at least 5 employees. This means that many small businesses in southern California are subject to compliance with the FEHA but not the ADEA. Employees may seek certain types of damages under the FEHA–such as punitive damages and compensation for emotional distress–that are not available under the ADEA.
If you have an ageism case, Valiant Law will fight tenaciously for you to be appropriately compensated. Call (909) 254-5771 today!
What Practices Are Considered Discriminatory?
Despite the broad federal and state prohibitions against age discrimination, not every employment practice that may affect older workers is illegal.
Under the FEHA, for instance, the following business practices are not “in and of themselves” unlawful:
- Promoting an employee from within the existing staff
- Hiring or promoting based on an applicant’s “experience and training”
- Rehiring prior employees based on seniority or prior service
- Hiring employees from an “established recruiting program” that targets students
Illegal actions include making the following business decisions based on age:
- Job Assignments
- Performance Evaluations
Stating age preferences or limitations in any job advertisements, imposing blanket age restrictions for apprenticeship programs, or asking a job applicant’s age during the hiring process is not allowed.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the ADEA also prohibits practices and policies that appear neutral but disproportionately negatively impact older workers (disparate impact).
Our experienced California age discrimination lawyers can advise you on what to do – and more importantly, what not to do – if you have encountered any of these practices.
Take Legal Action Against Age Discrimination in California
Our team prides itself on providing first-class representation to all our clients. We know that discrimination at work has ripple effects beyond the job. Being treated unfairly can cause emotional and mental stress, too. At Valiant Law, we want our clients to be fully compensated for every loss connected to their unequal treatment. We are unafraid to fight back against employers of all sizes, including large corporations.