If an employee is replaced by a younger worker, is this age discrimination? The short answer is “it depends.” To determine whether or not an older worker has been discriminated against based on his or her age in violation of either state or federal law, it is important to review the totality of the circumstances.
The mere fact that an older worker has been replaced by a younger worker – standing alone – could potentially mean nothing. There are many non-discriminatory reasons why an employee may be replaced by a younger worker. For example, if an older worker quits his or her job, and the employer thereafter hires somebody much younger, it does not necessarily follow that the employer has somehow discriminated against the older worker. Therefore, before reaching any conclusions, it is important to understand the elements of age discrimination (akopyanlaw.com/employment-law/age-discrimination) and apply those elements to the facts of a given situation.
What Does the Law Say about Age Discrimination?
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibit employment discrimination based on age.
Under the FEHA, a prima facie case of age discrimination (akopyanlaw.com/age-discrimination/) arises when the employee shows: (1) at the time of the adverse action he or she was 40 years of age or older, (2) an adverse employment action was taken against the employee, (3) at the time of the adverse action the employee was satisfactorily performing his or her job and (4) the employee was replaced in his position by a significantly younger person. (Hersant v. Department of Social Services (1997) 57 Cal. App.4th 997, 1003.)
Under the ADEA, “the fact that one person in the protected class has lost out to another person in the protected class is thus irrelevant, so long as he has lost out because of his age.”(O’Connor v. Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp. (1996) 517 U.S. 308, 312.)
Contact Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. for Advice about Age Discrimination
Any older worker who feels they have been discriminated against based on his or her age can try to do his or her research, but a far better approach is to consult with an experienced age discrimination lawyer.
The team of employment discrimination lawyers at Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. devotes much of their time to helping people dealing with employment discrimination. With offices in Burbank, we provide services to employees throughout Southern California, including Glendale, Los Angeles, and Hollywood. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they are paid legal fees equal to a percentage of what they recover – not an hourly fee. View our case results and contact Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. without delay. Find out here to know how to fight against age discrimination.