Experienced Age Discrimination Attorneys in Los Angeles, CA
At the Leichter Law Firm, APC the Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer knows how difficult it is for seasoned employees to compete with younger minds that can be hired at a lesser salary with fewer benefits.
In today’s competitive employment landscape, it no longer matters how long an employee has been with a company, how valuable their experience is, or how loyal they have been, employers are consistently looking for new ways to reduce overhead.
That often means the eldest employees, who have higher salaries and costly benefits packages, are targeted for release because of their age. This is illegal.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) is a Federal law that protects certain employees who are over 40 from employment discrimination and applies to most employers with 20 or more employees.
The ADEA protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination based on age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
Employees 40 and Over Have Both State & Federal Legal Protection from Adverse Employment Actions in California
Most California employees are protected from age discrimination by both state and federal laws, including the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that prohibit employers from engaging in adverse employment actions based on age.
That includes protection from the following employment actions:
- Wrongful Termination
- Retaliation Claims
- Wage and Hour Claims
- Failure to interview or hire
- Denying promotion or advancement
- Transfer, demotion, or unfavorable job assignment
- Reduction in pay
- Constructive discharge (resigning from a position because of an intolerable working environment)
- Breach of Employment Contracts
- Disability, FMLA, CFRA
- Independent Contractor Claims
- Overtime Misclassification
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Residential Apartment Manager
- Sexual Harassment
Unfortunately, ageism in the workplace does not stop there.
Often, employees aged 40 and over are subjected to a hostile work environment caused by harassment. This often stems from younger employees believing elder employees lack technical knowledge or are out of touch with the younger generation, so they are harassed for their perceived shortcomings. This too is illegal.
If you have been the victim of a discriminatory environment in a California workplace — whether you were targeted by other employees or directly by an employer contact the skilled age discrimination attorney in Los Angeles at the Leichter Law Firm, APC today to discuss your case during a free consultation.
What Constitutes Age Discrimination at Work?
Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or job applicant less favorably because of their age, and it is prohibited by both federal and state laws. In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) specifically addresses age discrimination, making it illegal for employers to discriminate against individuals who are 40 years of age or older.
Age discrimination can manifest in various ways, including:
- Hiring Practices: An employer may refuse to hire an applicant based on their age, even if they are qualified for the position.
- Termination: Older employees may be disproportionately targeted for layoffs or termination, often under the pretext of restructuring or downsizing.
- Promotions and Advancement: Age discrimination can also manifest in denying older employees opportunities for promotions or pay raises, favoring younger employees instead.
- Hostile Work Environment: Creating a hostile work environment by subjecting older employees to derogatory comments, offensive jokes, or exclusion can also constitute age discrimination.
How is Age Discrimination Proven?
Proving age discrimination can be challenging, as it often occurs behind closed doors or subtly. However, our Age Discrimination Attorney in Los Angeles is well-versed in the methods used to establish a case. Here are some common ways to prove age discrimination:
- Direct Evidence: This includes clear and unambiguous statements or actions by an employer that demonstrate discrimination based on age. For example, if an employer directly states that an older employee is being fired due to their age, it can be considered direct evidence.
- Circumstantial Evidence: In most cases, age discrimination must be proven using circumstantial evidence. This involves demonstrating a pattern of behavior or circumstances that suggest age was a motivating factor in the adverse employment decision. This may include comparing how older employees are treated compared to their younger counterparts.
- Pretext: Another approach involves showing that the employer’s reason for an adverse action, such as termination, was merely a pretext to hide age discrimination. This can be done by highlighting inconsistencies or contradictions in the employer’s stated reasons for the action.
What Steps Should I Take When Suffering From Age Discrimination in a California Workplace?
If you are being discriminated against for your age in a California workplace, keep a record of each incident that occurs, and report the incident(s) verbally and in writing to the company’s human resources department.
If your company does not have a human resources department, report the age discrimination to your supervisor, and keep a record of their reaction and the steps he or she took or did not take to remedy the harassing circumstances.
Employers are forbidden by law from retaliating against employees who report age discrimination in the workplace. If your employer does retaliate, they may be liable for more than one legal issue.
Contact the experienced age discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles at the Leichter Law Firm, APC today to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue your employer for the harm they have caused or allowed to occur in the workplace.
What Is the Difference Between Direct and Indirect Discrimination?
Age discrimination can take two primary forms: direct discrimination and indirect discrimination.
- Direct Discrimination: This occurs when an employer explicitly treats an employee less favorably due to their age. For example, if an older employee is denied a promotion solely because of their age, it constitutes direct discrimination.
- Indirect Discrimination: Indirect discrimination is more subtle and involves policies or practices that appear neutral but disproportionately affect older employees. An example would be implementing a policy requiring all employees to work late hours, which may disproportionately disadvantage older employees who may have caregiving responsibilities.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Filing an Age Discrimination Claim in Los Angeles, CA?
Thanks to the newest legislation, beginning January 1, 2020, a California employee has three years — instead of the former deadline of one year from the time of the discriminatory act to file a charge of discrimination with the state’s California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
The employee has 300 days to file a charge of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Timing is a crucial factor when pursuing an employer for age discrimination. The sooner you contact an experienced harassment discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles, the quicker you can weigh each of your legal options and pursue the outcome you deserve.
Contact Our Age Discrimination Lawyer in Los Angeles at Leichter Law Firm, APC
Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder, and age discrimination attorney in Los Angeles County, can help you pursue your employer for their unlawful behavior, starting with a free consultation by calling 818-915-6624 or contacting the firm online today.