Age discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue that can affect employees’ careers and well-being. In California, specific laws and regulations protect employees over the age of 40 from age-related discrimination.

Understanding how these laws work and what steps to take if you face discrimination is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how age discrimination in employment is handled legally in California. Contact PLBH at (800) 435-7542 for a free legal consultation.

Understanding Age Discrimination

What is Age Discrimination?

Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of their age. It can occur in various forms, such as hiring, firing, promotion, job assignments, and training. In California, the law primarily protects individuals who are 40 years old or older.

Legal Framework

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the primary statute that prohibits age discrimination in employment. This law applies to employers with five or more employees and provides robust protections for workers aged 40 and above.

Recognizing Age Discrimination

Signs of Age Discrimination

Some common signs of age discrimination include:

  • Unjustified negative performance reviews.
  • Exclusion from important meetings or decisions.
  • Denial of training opportunities.
  • Comments about being “too old” or “overqualified.”
  • Favoring younger employees for promotions or new positions.

Documenting Incidents

If you suspect age discrimination, it is crucial to document every incident meticulously. Keep records of:

  • Emails or messages with discriminatory remarks.
  • Notes from meetings where age-related comments were made.
  • Performance reviews or other written feedback.

Legal Recourse for Age Discrimination

Filing a Complaint

If you believe you have been discriminated against due to your age, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The steps include:

  • Submit an Intake Form: Provide detailed information about the discrimination.
  • DFEH Investigation: The DFEH will investigate your claim to determine if there is sufficient evidence of discrimination.
  • Mediation or Lawsuit: If the DFEH finds merit in your claim, they may offer mediation services or authorize you to file a lawsuit.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Hiring an experienced employment lawyer can significantly enhance your chances of a successful claim. At PLBH, our skilled attorneys can help you:

  • Assess your case and gather necessary evidence.
  • Navigate the complaint process with the DFEH.
  • Represent you in mediation or court proceedings.

Employer Responsibilities

Anti-Discrimination Policies

Employers in California are required to have anti-discrimination policies in place. These policies should include:

  • Clear definitions of age discrimination.
  • Procedures for reporting discrimination.
  • Training programs for employees and managers on anti-discrimination laws.

Creating an Inclusive Workplace

Employers should also focus on creating an inclusive work environment by:

  • Promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Ensuring equal opportunities for training and advancement.
  • Regularly reviewing and updating anti-discrimination policies.

Consequences for Employers

Legal Penalties

Employers found guilty of age discrimination can face severe legal penalties, including:

  • Compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional distress.
  • Punitive damages in cases of egregious misconduct.
  • Court orders to reinstate or promote the affected employee.

Reputation Damage

In addition to legal penalties, employers may suffer damage to their reputation, which can impact employee morale and the ability to attract top talent.

Contact Us Now for Help

Age discrimination is not only illegal but also detrimental to a productive and inclusive workplace. If you believe you have been a victim of age discrimination, it is essential to understand your rights and seek legal help. At PLBH, we are committed to protecting employees’ rights and ensuring justice. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can assist you in your case.