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.