Age discrimination is the unjust practice of refusing to hire or retain older workers. In some cases, employers may fire older workers to hire younger employees at lower costs (this is only one example).
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 64 percent of workers have witnessed or experienced age discrimination. What does age discrimination look like? We can use the story of a former fire division chief as an illustrative example.
The former division chief for the San Bernardino County Fire District was recently awarded $704,000 by a jury after it was discovered he had been fired due to his age. By the time he was fired at 58 years old, he had accumulated more than 30 years of experience as a firefighter. After being let go from the San Bernardino County Fire District, he took another job at Running Springs Fire Department and suffered a $10 per hour pay cut. This seasoned firefighter is now 62 years old, and has suffered thousands of dollars in lost wages over the last four years.
His boss had allegedly terminated other firefighters due to their age and made it easier for younger firefighters to receive promotions. After adopting this policy, younger firefighters began replacing older ones.
Age Discrimination Warning Signs
According to the AARP, workers facing age discrimination may be given impossible quotas, poor performance reviews, and be excluded from meetings. In addition, older workers may experience frequent negative comments about their age. When faced with age discrimination warning signs, it is time to take action.
Although the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers over the age of 40, employers may find ways to defend discriminatory employment decisions. Some employers may also be exempt from the ADEA. Workers who experience age discrimination should gather evidence and contact an employment law attorney to explore available legal options.
The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at the Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. can help defend against age discrimination.