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Age Discrimination in the California Workplace: What You Need to Know

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If you are employed in the state of California and feel you've been discriminated against at work due to your age, you are protected from this type of workplace discrimination by both Federal and California laws. Although the law prohibits your employer from using your age as a basis for employment decisions, age discrimination can still occur. But how do you know for sure if your employer is treating you unfairly because of your age?

This article will fill you in on the facts California employees need to know about age discrimination, signs you've been discriminated against at work and the best way to file a workplace discrimination complaint.

Age-Discrimination-in-California-What-You-Need-to-Know.png

If you are employed in the state of California and feel you've been discriminated against at work due to your age, you are protected from this type of workplace discrimination by both Federal and California laws. Although the law prohibits your employer from using your age as a basis for employment decisions, age discrimination can still occur. But how do you know for sure if your employer is treating you unfairly because of your age?

This article will fill you in on the facts California employees need to know about age discrimination, signs you've been discriminated against at work and the best way to file a workplace discrimination complaint.

What is Age Discrimination?

Age discrimination can take on a variety of forms and occurs when an applicant or employee is treated unfairly by an employer because of their age. These negative employer behaviors can range from denying employment, to negative performance reviews and even termination to make room for younger new hires. Thankfully, Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1967 to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees over the age of 40. California law takes this employee protection a step further with the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). FEHA's protections are broader than ADEA, applying to smaller employers (businesses with at least five employees) and protects California workers aged 40 or older from discrimination in the workplace and hiring practices.

Signs of Age Discrimination in California

Under both California and Federal law, it is unlawful for your employer to subject you to adverse employment actions because of your age.

If you are aged 40 or older and are being forced to deal with any of the following unlawful employer behaviors, you may want to seek assistance from an experienced employment lawyer:

  • An employer refused to hire you because of your age
  • You have been verbally abused by your employer because of your age
  • You have been publicly shamed by your employer because of your age
  • You have been cyber-bullied by your employer, coworkers or supervisor because of your age
  • You have been threatened or harassed at work because of your age
  • You were turned down for a promotion because of your age
  • You have been denied ongoing training because of your age
  • You have been demoted because of your age
  • You have been left out of meetings because of your age
  • Before you were demoted or terminated, your employer referred to you as "too slow" or "too old" or another ageist term
  • When layoffs were announced, you and other older workers were laid off while younger workers were kept on with the company

• You have been terminated because of your age

How to File an Age Discrimination Complaint in California

In order to move forward with filing a workplace discrimination complaint, you should speak with an experienced California employment lawyer, as they can ensure the filing process is handled properly. Because there are strict time limits on when you can file, your lawyer will need to act as quickly as possible. You can help your lawyer meet these time limits by documenting all instances of negative employer behaviors as they occur: write down who was involved, witnesses, a description of the unfair treatment, and keep any emails or other documents that could be important to proving your case. Your employment lawyer will then file your age discrimination complaint with the proper agency: the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If you feel that you have been discriminated against at work because of your age, call us today for a free consultation and let the passionate employment lawyers at Hennig Ruiz fight for your rights and the financial compensation you deserve.

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