Fighting for Justice in an Age Discrimination Case
Discrimination comes in many forms. Gender and race are two of the more commonly heard types of workplace discrimination. Other types of employment-related discrimination that unfairly impact the lives of women and men include age discrimination. If you’re the victim of workplace age discrimination, there are some important facts you need to understand. These include understanding the basic elements of age discrimination, how to make an age discrimination case, and the importance of retaining the services of an experienced, dedicated age discrimination lawyer.
What is Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination occurs when an employee or a job applicant who has reached his or her 40th birthday is a victim of negative treatment at the workplace by reason of age.
Age is a protected characteristic under US anti-discrimination laws. Age in this instance as defined under the laws refers to the chronological age of any individual who has reached his or her 40th birthday (29 U.S.C. §§ 621–634; Gov. Code, § 12900).
The court has also affirmed this position in the case of Linsley v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. In that case, it was emphasized that both California and federal law prohibit employers from unlawfully discriminating against employees on the basis of their age.
It is equally unlawful for an employer to discriminate against someone on the basis of age by reason of a false belief that such person is within the age of 40 years and older. If you have suffered wrongful, negative treatment simply because of your age, your rights may have been violated. Speak to the age discrimination lawyers at Eldessouky Law for enforcement of your rights.
What are the Laws that prohibit age discrimination in California?
The laws prohibiting age discrimination in California are the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The FEHA expressly prohibits employers from discriminating against workers within the age range of 40 and above.
Securing a remedy under this Act requires the filing of a complaint through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
The ADEA of 1967 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees within the age range of 40 and above. This law however applies to employers with 20 or more full-time or regular part-time employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year. The law further proscribes the advertisement of vacancies with a strict preference for college graduates.
The difference between the state and federal anti-discrimination enactments is that the state laws offer a wider and more specific latitude of protection than the federal law. For example, under federal laws, an employer must have at least 20 employees to be covered. The state law reduced that threshold to 5 employees. Other advantages are:
- Multipliers on attorney fee awards (Provided under § 5.12),
- Specific provision for secondary offenders (§ 6.5),
- No limits on punitive and compensatory damages (§ 5.11) and
- Extension of the law to protect interns and volunteers
The recently enacted Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension (SHARE) Act also makes important provisions regarding workplace harassment and discrimination. The act extends the time limit within which to file a DFEH complaint by two years. The initial deadline was one year.
An age discrimination lawyer from Eldessouky Law today at 714-409-8991 can provide you with more information about applicable law, what’s involved in pursuing a claim, and an overall evaluation of your case.
Examples of Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Although employees might have different experiences in the workplace, these experiences might all fall under what we consider to be age discrimination. Common examples of workplace age discrimination in California and across the United States include:
- Being the target of comments, insults, or jokes
- Noticing patterns of the employer only hiring young people
- Getting turned down or overlooked for promotions (even though you are qualified)
- Being assigned to tedious tasks (and giving younger workers more important responsibilities)
- Facing unwarranted disciplinary actions (that do not match the discipline faced by younger employees)
- Having a position eliminated (only to be replaced by a similar position given to a younger employee)
Pursuing a Workplace Age Discrimination Claim
Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding a situation alleged to involve workplace age discrimination, a complaint may need to be filed with either a state or federal administrative agency. The reality is that the administrative process can prove to be surprisingly challenging. As a consequence, if you believe you are the victim of workplace age discrimination, you best protect your crucial legal interests by retaining the services of an experienced attorney, like a member of the legal team at Eldessouky Law.
Bear in mind that you must file an administrative workplace age discrimination complaint within a specific period of time. That deadline can be a matter of a couple of months from the date of the alleged discriminatory act. An experienced age discrimination lawyer is in the best position to ensure that any claim or complaint is filed in a timely manner.
Filing an age discrimination Lawsuit
Depending on how a complaint with a governmental administrative agency is resolved, you may need to file a lawsuit in your quest to obtain justice in an age discrimination case. An example of when the time to file a lawsuit has arrived is if you receive what is known as a Right to Sue Letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC.
An age discrimination lawsuit can prove to be highly complicated litigation. For this reason, pursuing this type of lawsuit without a lawyer is not recommended.
Time Limits to File a Workplace Age Discrimination Lawsuit
California has a statute of limitations governing when a workplace age discrimination lawsuit must be filed. The failure to file a lawsuit within the mandated timeframe results in you being permanently precluded from seeking judicial relief as a victim of age discrimination.
Other deadlines come into play when a claim being made against an employer involved workplace discrimination. For example, the deadline for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC is 180 days. The deadline is extendable in some states with strong anti-discrimination laws. For example, In California, the time limit to file a complaint is extendable to 300 days from the day the alleged discrimination took place.
In California, the state department that handles these complaints is the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
The bottom line is that you best protect your legal interests when it comes to all aspects associated with a workplace age discrimination claim. This includes those associated with time deadlines.
Do you need an attorney?
In the final analysis, you best protect your legal interests when you desire to pursue a workplace age discrimination claim. Contact Eldessouky Law today by calling 714-409-8991 to learn more about your rights and to obtain a frank case evaluation. There is no cost associated with an initial consultation and case evaluation with an Eldessouky Law age discrimination attorney. In addition, our firm charges no fee in a discrimination case unless we win a favorable settlement of judgment for a client.