One fact of life is that people in California will continue to grow older. There is no way around that fact. As people age, physically they may feel different and may experience other changes. However, most of the time these differences do not eliminate their need to work and earn an income. Also, most of the time people are perfectly capable of working as they grow older.

However, often times as one ages, they command more money for their work and also can be more costly in terms of fringe benefits for the company. So, employers may feel that the company would be able to make more money, if they simply hired cheaper, younger employees to replace the older employees. This not only leaves the older employees in a very difficult position as they try and figure out what they will do for future employment, but it also may be illegal.

The law states that most employers cannot treat employees over 40 any differently than their younger employees. This includes a number of different types of actions including, but not limited, to promotions, pay, work assignments, benefits, training and other types of employment related actions. One of the other actions is firing. If an employee or group of employees are fired because of the fact that they are over 40 years old, the employee may be able to bring a wrongful termination claim against the company.

Employers in California have many reasons for why they fire particular employees. Usually this is based on work performance, but it can also be for other reasons such as their age, sex, religion, disabilities and other aspects that the employee cannot control. If the employer does this, they may need to compensate the former employee for lost income among other damages depending on the circumstances. It is important to know one’s rights and experienced attorneys may be able to help protect them.

Source: eeoc.gov, “Age Discrimination” accessed on Sept. 28, 2017