What Does Age Discrimination Look Like in the Workplace?
Have you been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace? Whether the age discrimination eventually led to your termination or you are still putting up with the unjust treatment due to your age day after day, you must explore your options. Depending on the circumstance, you might have grounds to take action against your employer.
If you would like to learn more about your right to pursue legal action against your employer, do not hesitate to contact our firm. Our experts are ready to provide you with the guidance necessary to hold your employer accountable for the age discrimination that you suffered.
What Is Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination occurs when an employee is mistreated simply because of his or her age. Specifically, those who are over the age of forty can face unjust treatment related to their age. The unjust treatment could include treating working differently based on their ages, making jokes or comments related to age, and being passed over for promotions, for instance.
Because age discrimination comes in many forms, it can often be difficult for affected individuals to identify that they are being subject to unfair treatment based on their age. Trying to view the situation from a different perspective often helps the affected party understand that he or she is being discriminated. Consider the following examples of age discrimination in the workplace.
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. Consider the following examples of age discrimination in employment:
- 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 similar position given to a younger employee)
Understanding the Laws that Prohibit Age Discrimination
There are laws on the federal and state level that protect employees from age discrimination in the workplace. These laws include the Age Discrimination in Employment (ADEA) of 1967 on the federal level as well as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) on the state level in California.
The ADEA protects employees forty and older from employment discrimination; it makes it illegal for employers to fire or discriminate individuals who are over forty years old. The ADEA applies to employers with at least twenty employees.
The FEHA also protects employees who are forty and older from discrimination in the workplace. Like the ADEA, the FEHA makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on age. However, the FEHA applies to more employers – specifically, it applies to all employers with at least five employees.
For more information about these employment laws, you should seek legal assistance at your earliest convenience.
You Can File a Claim
You might have grounds to pursue legal action against your employer. In fact, there are multiple options available to you. Consider the following points:
- You could file a claim with the EEOC – the EEOC handles all employment claims filed on the federal level. The EEOC will investigate the claim to determine if any federal employment laws were violated. If so, the federal employment agency will take action against the employer.
- You could file a claim with the DFEH – the DFEH handles all employment claims filed on the state level. The DFEH will investigate the claim to determine whether the employer violated any state employment laws. If so, the DFEH will take action against the employer.
- You could file a civil claim against your employer -after filing with either the EEOC or DFEH, the affected individual could request the right to sue from the employment agency. Then, the individual could pursue a civil claim against the employer.
Although all employment claims must go through the appropriate employment agency (either the EEOC or DFEH), many affected individuals ultimately decide to proceed civilly. If you decide to pursue a civil claim against your employer, you might be eligible to recover significant compensation, which could include lost income (past and future), lost benefits, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. In some cases, reinstatement, policy changes, and training are also outcomes of successful lawsuits against employers.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you suspect that you have been subject to age discrimination in the workplace, you should seek legal assistance immediately. Depending on the details surrounding your situation, you might have a valid claim against your employer. The employment attorneys at our firm are ready to provide you with the representation that you need to file an age discrimination claim against your employer.