How To Recognize And Report Age Discrimination In California


Age discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of individuals based on their age, particularly in the workplace. It can manifest in various forms, including hiring biases, promotion denials, or discriminatory remarks. In California, where diversity and inclusivity are valued, recognizing and addressing age discrimination is crucial for fostering a fair and equitable work environment.

Importance of Recognizing and Reporting Age Discrimination in California

Recognizing and reporting age discrimination in California is essential for upholding the rights and dignity of individuals in the workforce. By identifying discriminatory practices, individuals can take proactive steps to address inequality and advocate for fair treatment. Moreover, reporting age discrimination is vital for holding employers and organizations accountable for their actions, ultimately promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Failure to address age discrimination not only perpetuates injustice but also undermines the principles of equality and fairness that are fundamental in the workplace. By raising awareness of age discrimination and reporting instances of unfair treatment, individuals contribute to the creation of a more inclusive and respectful work environment for themselves and future generations. Therefore, understanding the signs of age discrimination and knowing how to report it are essential steps in safeguarding the rights and well-being of all individuals in California’s workforce.

Signs of Age Discrimination

Recognizing the signs of age discrimination is crucial for individuals in California to protect their rights and advocate for fair treatment in the workplace. Here are some common indicators to watch out for:

  • Hiring and Firing Practices – Age discrimination may be evident in hiring and firing decisions, such as job postings specifying age preferences or biases against older applicants during the recruitment process. Similarly, instances of older employees being disproportionately targeted for layoffs or termination may suggest discriminatory practices based on age.
  • Promotion and Demotion Decisions – Age discrimination can also manifest in promotion and demotion decisions within an organization. Older employees may be overlooked for advancement opportunities in favor of younger colleagues, or they may be unfairly demoted or transferred to less desirable positions based on their age.
  • Unfair Treatment in the Workplace – Employees who experience age discrimination may face unequal treatment in the workplace, such as being excluded from important meetings or projects, receiving less favorable assignments, or being denied training and development opportunities based on their age.
  • Harassment Based on Age – Harassment based on age, including derogatory comments, jokes, or offensive remarks about an individual’s age, is a clear indicator of age discrimination. This type of behavior can create a hostile work environment and negatively impact an employee’s morale and well-being.
  • Disparaging Remarks or Jokes About Age – Employees may also encounter disparaging remarks or jokes about their age from colleagues, supervisors, or managers. These comments, even if intended as humor, can contribute to a culture of ageism in the workplace and signal underlying biases against older workers.

By recognizing these signs of age discrimination, individuals can take proactive steps to address unfair treatment and advocate for their rights in the workplace. Additionally, understanding these indicators empowers employees to report instances of age discrimination and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment for all.

Recognizing Age Discrimination

Recognizing age discrimination is essential for individuals in California to protect their rights and address unfair treatment in the workplace effectively. Here are some practical steps to help identify instances of age discrimination:

  • Awareness of State and Federal Laws – It’s crucial to familiarize oneself with both state and federal laws that prohibit age discrimination in the workplace. In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) provide protections against age-based discrimination. Understanding these laws and their provisions can help individuals recognize when their rights may have been violated.
  • Understanding Company Policies on Discrimination – Employers in California are required to have policies and procedures in place to prevent and address workplace discrimination, including age discrimination. Employees should review their company’s policies and familiarize themselves with the procedures for reporting discriminatory behavior. Knowing what constitutes discrimination according to company policies can help individuals identify and address inappropriate conduct in the workplace.
  • Keeping Records of Discriminatory Incidents – Keeping detailed records of any incidents or behaviors that may suggest age discrimination is essential. This includes documenting dates, times, witnesses, and specifics of the discriminatory actions or remarks. These records can provide crucial evidence if individuals decide to file a complaint with their employer or pursue legal action against discrimination.
  • Seeking Advice from Trusted Colleagues or Our Legal Professionals – If individuals suspect they are experiencing age discrimination but are unsure how to proceed, seeking advice from trusted colleagues or our legal professionals can be beneficial. Colleagues who have experienced similar situations may offer valuable insights or support, while legal professionals, such as employment lawyers or California wrongful termination attorneys, can provide guidance on the best course of action to address age discrimination effectively.

By following these steps and remaining vigilant, individuals can better recognize instances of age discrimination in the workplace and take appropriate action to protect their rights and promote a fair and inclusive work environment.

Reporting Age Discrimination

Reporting age discrimination is crucial for holding employers accountable and seeking recourse for unfair treatment. Here are steps individuals can take to report age discrimination effectively:

  • Internal Reporting Procedures within the Company – Many companies have internal policies and procedures for reporting discrimination and harassment. Employees should familiarize themselves with these protocols and follow the appropriate channels for reporting age discrimination incidents to their supervisors, human resources department, or designated compliance officer.
  • Filing a Complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) – If internal reporting procedures do not resolve the issue or if individuals prefer to seek external assistance, they can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The DFEH is responsible for enforcing California’s anti-discrimination laws and investigating claims of workplace discrimination, including age discrimination.
  • Seeking Legal Counsel to Explore Options for Legal Action – In cases where age discrimination persists or remains unresolved through internal or external reporting, individuals may consider seeking legal counsel from our experienced employment attorney. Our attorney can assess the situation, provide advice on potential legal remedies, and represent individuals in negotiations or legal proceedings to address age discrimination effectively.
  • Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim – It’s essential for individuals to understand the statute of limitations for filing a claim of age discrimination in California. Under state law, individuals generally have one year from the date of the discriminatory act to file a complaint with the DFEH. However, it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance with specific deadlines and requirements for filing a claim.

By following these steps and taking appropriate action, individuals can help combat age discrimination in the workplace and seek justice for unfair treatment based on their age. Reporting age discrimination not only protects the rights of individuals but also contributes to creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment for all employees.

Call Our Orange County Age Discrimination Lawyer For Legal Help Today

At Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., we firmly stand against employment discrimination in California. We believe that no one should face injustice in the workplace based on factors such as race, gender, age, marital status, or other legally protected characteristics. Our legal team is highly experienced in handling employment discrimination cases and has a successful track record of obtaining compensation for individuals who have experienced discrimination at work.

To receive a free consultation, call our Orange County age discrimination lawyer at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., at 877-562-9637 or 877-JOB-WOES . Our law firm serves clients throughout the state of California, including Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and throughout the Inland Empire.

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.