In California there are two major statutes prohibiting age discrimination. The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Both statutes make it illegal to discriminate against employees who are over 40 years old, on the basis of age as to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. For FEHA discrimination laws to apply an employer must have five or more employees. For the ADEA discrimination law to apply, the employer must have 20 or more employees. However, there are no minimum employee numbers for an employee who is 40 years or over, to be protected from harassment on the basis of age.
Prohibited age discrimination can occur in many forms. A person can be unlawfully discriminated against because of his age (40 or over) because of not being hired, being terminated, being laid off, being paid less, being denied a promotion, being denied training, or being given a demotion. If fact, employees who are 40 years old, or older, are protected from any form of discrimination as to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Sometimes older employees are discriminated against because of their age by being coerced or forced to take early retirement.
Age discrimination can manifest itself in policies, which have a disparate negative impact on older employees. For example, an employer who only gave certain training to employees under 30 years old, may have a negative impact on older employees denied the training as to promotions or raises. Typically, age discrimination occurs when a new management team comes in, and then wants to replace all the older managers with younger managers. Sometimes the new management hold negative stereotypes about the older employees that they will be more difficult to teach new ways of doing things. If these negative stereotypes against older employees cause age discrimination, then the older employees’ rights have been violated. Older employees being terminated for illegitimate reasons, and then being replaced by substantially younger employees with less qualifications can be evidence of age discrimination.
Statistical evidence can also be used to prove age discrimination. By showing statistically that there is a broad pattern of discriminatory practices at a company, a plaintiff can create an inference that age discrimination also occurred against him/her. Many times a plaintiff can show a link of a company policy to the age discrimination by the use of statistics. If a company has a policy, which results in a disparate impact on older employees, an employer can be held liable for age discrimination even if the company was not directly intending to discriminate against employees due to their age. Disparate impact discrimination occurs when an employer’s practice or policy, although neutral on its face, adversely affects the employment opportunities of members of a protected class of employees, like employees 40 years old, or older.
There are many employment attorneys in Los Angeles
, however not all of them are good. If you are 40 years old, or older, and you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your age, you should immediately contact an employment attorney who has experience in dealing with age discrimination. Age discrimination can be complex, especially when they need to be proven statistically. Always make sure that any lawyer you retain to pursue an age discrimination case is sufficiently qualified and experienced to do so. To talk with an age discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles, California about suspected age discrimination, contact cummingsandfranck.com today.