At the Leichter Law Firm, APC, the Los Angeles employment law attorney, Aryeh Leichter, knows how important each client’s job is to their livelihood. For adults over the age of 40, this is typically the age when their savings, retirement planning, and other financial forecasts begin taking shape.
Unfortunately, it is also around the same time when technology, workplace culture, and processes begin to change from their previous practices — making their former workplace movements seem antiquated. When this happens, it is difficult to not take it personally.
This is when understanding the difference between changing workplace practices and age discrimination in California is important.
What is Age Discrimination in the California Workplace?
In 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was designed to protect workers ages 40 and over from workplace discrimination based on their age. While it is unlawful to discriminate or harass employees because of their age, it is still common in California and across the nation.
In a survey conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Nearly 2 out of 3 workers ages 45 and older have seen or experienced age discrimination on the job. Among the respondents who reported age bias, 91% said they believe that such discrimination is common.
Age discrimination and harassment may manifest in multiple ways, including:
- Direct Age Discrimination
Direct age discrimination is the result of an employee being denied opportunities, including training and advancement and promotions, offered to younger employees that are not offered to older employees.
- Indirect Age Discrimination
Indirect age discrimination occurs when policies and practices are put in place to deliberately exclude certain employees. When job qualification requirements change, putting older employees at a disadvantage, they may suffer from discrimination.
- Age-Based Harassment
When employees over 40 are mocked, berated, or harassed by their coworkers, supervisors, or other workplace parties that hold them to a much higher standard than younger employees in the same position, or insist they are too old to perform their duties, get promoted, or apply pressure to get them to retire, they may have a valid employment law case for harassment.
- Age-Based Retaliation
When employees over 40 report to a supervisor or human resources manager they are being discriminated against or harassed because of their age, it is unlawful for their employer to take adverse action against them.
Common adverse actions for reporting or cooperating with an investigation for age discrimination or harassment in California may manifest as demotions, fewer hours, undue reprimands, forced retirement, and even termination.
While workplace age discrimination can occur anywhere, it is often more common in STEM fields, where younger workers are believed to have more technical knowledge or are believed to be more focused on new developments than their older counterparts.
In addition, industries that require physical abilities — like construction or hospitality industries — may discriminate or harass older workers for not being able to “keep up.”
While other employees or even supervisors may consider comments, remarks, questions, and jokes about age to be common workplace behavior, the treatment is often part of a much larger issue that reaches the legal level of age discrimination and/or harassment. The Leichter Law Firm, APC, can help you determine if your claim reaches the legal threshold necessary to pursue an employment law claim, and justice for you and other California workers who are 40 and over.
Contact the Leichter Law Firm, APC Age Discrimination Attorney in Los Angeles, California
Contact Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder and employment law attorney in Los Angeles County today to discuss the legal remedies that may be available for your unique workplace circumstances today, starting with a free consultation by calling 818-915-6624 or contacting the firm online.