Age discrimination remains a pervasive issue in the workplace, affecting countless employees across various industries. In California, robust laws exist to protect workers from such discriminatory practices. However, instances of age discrimination still occur, leading to wrongful terminations and unjust treatment.

Understanding Age Discrimination Laws in California

The California Civil Rights Department prohibits discrimination in employment based on various protected characteristics, including age. Under the Civil Rights laws, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants who are 40 years of age or older. Age discrimination can manifest in various forms, including hiring, firing, promotions, layoffs, compensation, and job assignments.

Employee Rights and Protections

Employees who believe they have been subjected to age discrimination have legal rights and avenues for recourse under California law. Some key aspects of employee rights and protections include:

  • Right to Workplace Free of Discrimination: Employees have the right to be treated fairly and without discrimination based on their age.
  • Right to File a Complaint: Employees can file a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) which was formerly known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to initiate an investigation into allegations of age discrimination.
  • Right to Legal Representation: Employees have the right to seek legal representation from a Wrongful Termination Attorney to pursue legal action against employers who engage in age discrimination.

Employer Obligations

Employers in California are obligated to adhere to strict anti-discrimination laws and provide a workplace free from age-based discrimination. Some key employer obligations include:

  • Prohibition of Discriminatory Practices: Employers are prohibited from engaging in discriminatory practices based on an employee’s age, including hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, and job assignments.
  • Reasonable Accommodations: Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with age-related disabilities as required by law.

Role of a Wrongful Termination Attorney

A wrongful termination attorney plays a crucial role in advocating for victims of age discrimination and pursuing justice on their behalf. Some ways in which a wrongful termination attorney can assist employees include:

  • Legal Assessment: Conducting a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding the alleged age discrimination to determine the viability of a wrongful termination claim.
  • Legal Representation: Representing employees in negotiations with employers, filing complaints with relevant government agencies, and litigating age discrimination cases in court.
  • Strategic Advocacy: Developing a strategic legal strategy tailored to the specific circumstances of the case, with the goal of achieving a favorable outcome for the employee.

An Example of Age Discrimination

Here’s a fictional example that illustrates how age discrimination might look in California:

Maria, a 55-year-old marketing professional with over 30 years of experience in her field, has been working for a tech startup in San Francisco for the past five years. Despite her extensive experience and significant contributions to her team, Maria has noticed a concerning pattern in the office. Over the last year, her company has been hiring significantly younger employees for positions similar to hers, many of whom have less experience.

During a recent round of promotions, Maria applied for a higher position within her department. She was well-qualified for the role, having successfully led several key projects that resulted in increased revenue for the company. However, the promotion was given to a younger colleague, Alex, who is 30 years old and has been with the company for only two years. Maria was told by her manager that they were looking for someone with a “fresher perspective” and who could “energetically engage with the dynamic pace of the industry.”

Furthermore, Maria has been receiving comments about her age from her supervisors and coworkers. Remarks such as “When are you planning to retire?” and “Don’t you find the technology too challenging at your age?” have become common. Maria also noticed that her opportunities for professional development, such as attending conferences or participating in advanced training sessions, have diminished compared to her younger colleagues.

Feeling marginalized and devalued because of her age, Maria decides to take action. She documents the instances of age-related comments and the denial of professional opportunities. Aware of her rights under both federal and state laws, Maria contacts a wrongful termination attorney. Together, they review her case to determine the best course of action to address the discrimination she has faced at work.

This fictional example highlights how age discrimination can occur in various forms, from hiring and promotion practices to comments that stereotype older employees as being less capable or adaptable. In California, victims of age discrimination have legal avenues to challenge such behavior and seek justice.

Justice is Available for Age Discrimination in California

Age discrimination has no place in a lawful workplace, yet it persists as a significant challenge for many employees in California. Understanding age discrimination laws, employee rights, and employer obligations is crucial for combating this injustice. With the assistance of a knowledgeable wrongful termination attorney, victims of age discrimination can assert their rights, seek justice, and hold employers accountable for discriminatory practices.

Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. serves clients in Southern California – including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura. Please see our website and see why we are the attorneys of choice for many wrongfully terminated clients. We offer a complimentary case evaluation, so do not hesitate to contact us today.