Employment discrimination in the workplace can occur across a broad spectrum of areas. Both federal and California state law prevent employers from discriminating on the basis of factors like religious affiliation, race, ethnicity or sexual preference. Often overlooked in discussions of employment discrimination are people suffering negative consequences because of their ages.
With more and more Americans staying on the work force past the age of retirement, age discrimination has become a serious concern to our Los Angeles employment lawyers and the American workforce. Often, businesses will have to pay senior employees a higher rate than their more junior counterparts, which can provide a strong economic incentive to get rid of older workers when things get tight. These economic considerations are not inherently illegal, but they do provide a potential cover for discriminatory practices against veteran employees.
In 1967, congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in order to put an end to employer practices that worked against older Americans who were targeted for discrimination in hiring, promotion, layoffs, benefits and other employment concerns like job assignments and training. Under the ADEA, it is against the law to discriminate against a person because of their age with respect to any term, condition or privilege of employment. This includes forced retirement. This law protects both employees and job applicants who are over the age of 40, and it applies to any employer with at least 20 employees, including state, local and federal governments, as well as employment agencies and labor organizations.
Although the ADEA provides broad protections, there are certain situations where age discrimination is permitted, including age limitations for specific government jobs like police officer or fire fighter. In addition, executives who make over $44,000 annually can be forced to retire at the age of 65.
California also provides protection for those over the age of 40 with the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This state law makes it illegal for any public employer or private employer with at least five employees to refuse to hire or employ, discharge, dismiss, reduce, suspend, or demote, any individual who is at least 40 years old because of their age. It also makes it illegal for the employers to harass the employee.
If you have been the victim of harassment or have missed out on an employment privilege because you are over the age of 40, there are legal solutions under both federal and California state law for you to hold the employer accountable. You shouldcontact a Los Angeles employment attorney to see if your specific facts and circumstances will allow you to recover damages and hold the discriminatory employer accountable. No one should be excluded because of his or her age.