How Is Age Discrimination In California Proven?

age discrimination

Americans are working older and working longer than they did decades ago, and age discrimination in the workplace is a rising problem. This fact is revealed in current statistics – the AARP states that 2/3 of workers between 45 and 74 have seen or dealt with age discrimination at work. Also, workers over 35 say that age discrimination hinders hiring.

In this blog post, find out how to prove age discrimination in California. If you have questions about a case, our Corona age discrimination lawyer at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., can review your legal situation by scheduling an appointment for a free consultation today. Our attorneys are well acquainted with the state and federal laws enacted to ensure that older workers are treated fairly.

What Are Common Kinds Of Age Discrimination?

Age discrimination is common, but most employers will not come out and say, ‘you are too old’ for this or that job or project. This type of discrimination is often subtle, with these types being the most common:

  • Refusal to hire: This could be the most common form of age discrimination. Suppose you go to a job interview and are well qualified, but you find out that someone much younger with fewer qualifications was hired. This could be age discrimination.
  • Denying promotions: Workers over 40 should be allowed to advance in their careers. Denying a promotion to someone older also could be age discrimination.
  • Older workers laid off: Some workers might target more senior employees when there are staff reductions or layoffs. State and federal discrimination laws state that employees’ age should not factor in layoffs.

Signs Of Age Discrimination

In some companies, age discrimination is so common it can be challenging to see. Some of the most common types of age discrimination include the following examples. If you experienced any or many of these scenarios, you do not need to put up with it. Report the mistreatment promptly and speak to an age discrimination attorney today:

  • An organizational culture that leads to certain positions only being available to younger people. For example, a manager tells you not to apply for sales work because they only hire attractive, more youthful people.
  • Teasing or nicknames based on your age. For example, simply being referred to as ‘old timer’ or ‘old-school’ could be signs of age discrimination.
  • Not getting a job or promotion because of age. For instance, someone might say they are surprised you applied for the job because you are not far from retirement.
  • Only hiring younger employees: If you notice that your company only recruits at high schools and colleges, this might be a way it is trying to skirt state and federal discrimination laws.
  • A layoff that only affects older workers. It is common for more senior employees to have higher salaries, so there may be efforts to eliminate people that cost the company the most.

How To Report Age Discrimination

If you suspect age discrimination at work, you should be able to report it without fear of retaliation. If you think your employer discriminated against you in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), you are entitled to file a formal complaint. Your right to do so is protected by state and federal law.

You have several options to report your discrimination allegation in California. First, you can file a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If you file an age discrimination complaint with the EEOC, it also will be filed with the CRD, so you do not need to make two reports. Filing with the EEOC also results in a report to the CRD, but the EEOC will investigate.

Can You File A Lawsuit Against The Employer?

Filing an age discrimination complaint does not preclude you from filing a discrimination lawsuit against your employer. You can file the lawsuit before or after filing the complaint. However, you must obtain a ‘right to sue’ letter from the CRD or EEOC to file a suit. After you get this notice, you usually have a year to file a lawsuit against your employer.

You should talk to an age discrimination attorney before obtaining the right-to-sue letter. Once you receive the notice, you could forfeit rights to various investigation and dispute resolution processes offered by the CRD and EEOC. This could be beneficial in some cases and add complexity in others. Thus, it is best to speak to an age discrimination attorney first.

How Do You Prove Age Discrimination?

To prove you were discriminated against because of your age, there are several things you need to show. They are:

  • You are at least 40.
  • You suffered an adverse employment action, such as not being hired or laid off.
  • You were qualified for the work and met the expectations of the company.
  • The position stayed open or was filled by someone else who was much younger and similarly qualified. This involves showing that people under 40 get better treatment than you in the same situation.

Compensation Available In An Age Discrimination Settlement

What you can receive in an age discrimination settlement can vary widely. Some of the possible types of compensation may include:

  • Back pay: This money makes up the difference between how you were paid and what you should have received without age discrimination.
  • Non-financial relief: The company may be ordered to reinstate you, reinstate work benefits, or change hiring and promotion practices.
  • Front pay: This payment makes you whole if you cannot be rehired or put in an illegally denied position.
  • Economic damages: This is money for out-of-pocket costs that you had related to age discrimination.
  • Noneconomic damages: Compensation for the mental and emotional harm you suffered.
  • Legal expenses.
  • Punitive damages: This type of damages might be awarded to punish the company if its behavior was reckless or malicious.

Contact Our Corona Age Discrimination Lawyer

It is unfair and illegal to be discriminated against in the workplace because of your age. If it happened to you, contact our Corona age discrimination lawyer at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., to schedule an appointment for a free consultation today at (888) 883-6588.

Examples Of Age Discrimination In The Workplace

Age discrimination is a growing problem in the US, with two out of three employees between 45 and 74 claiming they have seen or experienced the problem at work. However, age discrimination in the workplace is against the law in California according to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

It also is illegal under the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). If you are 40 or older and think you have been discriminated against in the workplace, you should talk to an attorney immediately. The Orange County age discrimination lawyers at Law Office of Joseph Richards P.C. may be able to assist you.

Laws Against Age Discrimination

The federal ADEA makes it illegal for many employers to treat older employees differently than younger workers with the same qualifications. The ADEA also outlaws age discrimination against employees that are 40 or older. However, the ADEA only covers companies with 20 or more employees that work at least 20 hours per week.

The FEHA in California works similarly to the federal statute. However, the FEHA applies to more companies and workers; it covers employers that have at least five employees, including part-timers. So, an employee could have a valid age discrimination claim in Orange County that is not covered by federal law.

Signs Of Age Discrimination In The Workplace

No one wants to be discriminated against at work, but it often happens. Here are several signs that you could be facing age discrimination:

You Hear Age-Related Remarks

Companies or managers commenting about employees’ age could be getting close to harassment and age discrimination. While this may not yet be actionable, these comments can signal problems.

Time reports that even when older workers are not held back because of their age, minor negative remarks on the job could hint at hostility towards an older demographic. If you notice these remarks at work, you should take notes of the comments, dates, and times. If you notice a regular pattern of negative comments, it may suggest that age discrimination is happening.

You Are Turned Down For A Promotion

There is nothing illegal about someone being passed over for a promotion. However, if you were not promoted and someone younger was given the job, this sometimes suggests age discrimination. If you can prove a pattern of older employees being passed over for promotions that often go to younger colleagues, you should talk to an age discrimination attorney.

Feeling Left Out

You might notice that you are not invited to important meetings and are left out of vital work decisions. It is even possible that your work location could be isolated from other workers. These issues can make it challenging for you to be a valued part of the work team.

Some older workers are asked to work off-site or go to another office. These changes could cause a significant disruption that makes older workers consider quitting.

Not Being Hired Because Of Age

If you’re not hired because of your age, that’s possibly unlawful discrimination. Of course, most companies will not admit they didn’t hire you because you’re over 40. Look out for comments that suggest age discrimination could be happening. If you and a younger employee have a clear difference in job qualifications, this could be another sign.

Being Passed Over For High-Profile Work Assignments

Another way that California employers may discriminate against you is by removing you from challenging or high-profile work assignments that could lead to a raise or promotion. This can demoralize the employee and make them look non-essential to others. In addition, you may feel as if the employer is trying to make you appear less competent and knowledgeable.

Being ‘Encouraged’ To Retire

Many companies offer early retirement packages to older workers to get rid of their higher salaries. These early retirement packages are often difficult to refuse. However, the company could terminate you later even if you turn down an early retirement package.

Some employers may also try to enforce a mandatory retirement age. This is illegal except for a few professions, such as airline pilots, firefighting, and law enforcement.

Being Disciplined Unfairly

California law requires that most employees be treated equally. However, did you notice that you get harsher criticism than younger workers for similar errors? This could be a definite sign that you are being discriminated against.

You could be a witness to age discrimination if you notice any of these signs. Have an age discrimination attorney in Orange County review your potential claim immediately.

How To Deal With Age Discrimination

You should always speak to an age discrimination attorney if you think you have been discriminated against. However, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of facing this problem:

Invest In Career And Skill Growth

Refrain from letting your skills and knowledge become stale. Instead, read, take continuing education classes, and push yourself to improve daily. Then, even if you are over 40, get a mentor who can show you how to improve your skills and reach a higher position in your career.

Do Not Play Into The Aging Professional Stereotype

There’s a stereotype of an older worker who doesn’t want to deal with current technology and workplace changes and doesn’t have enough energy to compete with younger workers. However, older employees are often a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. You can show your managers you are a valuable worker by not talking about how things were better years ago. Refraining from discussing your age is probably also good practical advice.

Show A High Level Of Professionalism

You may have a higher position at work and feel secure. But you should always project a positive image, dress well, and do your best to be an outstanding representative of your organization.

Speak To An Orange County Age Discrimination Lawyer Now

It is generally illegal in California and across the United States to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their age. However, if you think you are an age discrimination victim, Law Office of Joseph Richards P.C. can help you. Our attorneys fight for clients’ rights in Riverside County, Orange County, and San Bernardino County.