Age Discrimination Attorneys Beverly Hills & Rancho Cucamonga, CA
You go to work every day to earn a living that will support you and your family. Even if you enjoy your work, discrimination can make going every day very difficult. Age discrimination is one of the most common types of unfair treatment in workplaces today. In some cases, it can even make it difficult for older adults to find work. Fortunately, there are laws in place that protect you by guaranteeing you certain rights. Below, our Beverly Hills, CA, age discrimination lawyer outlines when it occurs and what to do if it happens to you.
What is Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination occurs when an employee’s age is used against them. Victims of age discrimination are not given the same opportunities or equal treatment as younger employees. Ageism can affect anyone in the workplace. The older a person becomes, the more their years of experience, which were once viewed as an asset, become a liability to others. Age discrimination happens for many reasons. The main causes are irrational stereotypes and biases against older individuals. Younger people often view older employees as unmotivated, slow, less committed, and not as capable at their job.
Examples of Age Discrimination
State law, as well as the federal law Age Discrimination Act of 1975, prohibits discrimination against workers who are 40 years old or older. Under these laws, employers cannot take certain actions based on a worker’s age. These include:
- Replace older employees with employees who are substantially younger and with inferior or equal qualifications,
- Refuse to promote or hire older employees due to their age
- Harass older employees
- Implement policies that will naturally have a negative impact on employees 40 years old or older
- Comments of ageism, such as asking older employees why they have not retired yet
Employers also cannot mandate that employees retire at a certain age or tie a retirement age to a pension or retirement account.
It is Illegal to Retaliate for Complaints of Age Discrimination
When people suspect they are being targeted and treated unfairly in the workplace due to their age, they may report it. Usually, reports are made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a government agency that states approximately 20 percent of discrimination complaints they receive are based on age. Employers who learn that a worker has made an age discrimination complaint often try to retaliate against them. It is important to know this is against the law. Retaliation can take many forms, but the most common include demoting or firing employees, reducing their hours or wages, or denying them certain opportunities.
Although it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a complaint with the EEOC, there are other protected activities as well. These include:
- Filing a complaint with California’s Civil Rights Department,
- Participating or testifying in an age discrimination investigation,
- Supporting co-workers who are the victim of age discrimination,
- Refusing to carry out actions requested by the employer that are motivated by age discrimination
If your employer has retaliated against you, it is critical that you speak to a Beverly Hills, CA, age discrimination lawyer.
How to Prove Age Discrimination?
When filing an age discrimination complaint or claim, you must be able to prove several elements of your case. These are as follows:
- You were 40 years old or older at the time discrimination took place,
- You were effective, efficient, and capable in your employment position,
- Your employer took adverse employment action against you, such as demoting or terminating you, or creating a hostile work environment, and
- The adverse action infers discrimination, such as replacing you with a younger employee who is not as qualified as you for the position.
Your employer does not necessarily have to replace you with a younger employee in order to prove age discrimination. You only must show that younger employees receive more favorable treatment than older workers. Even if your employer denied you certain benefits but gave them to younger workers, that could be enough to show age discrimination occurred.
To prove age discrimination, documentation is key. The more documentation you can provide, the stronger your case will be and the more you can receive in damages. For example, if your employer has circulated a memo that includes ageist comments or provides an opportunity for younger workers but not older individuals, you should keep this. If your employer emails you or texts you and communicates in a discriminatory manner, you should also keep these.
Lastly, employers are often repeat offenders. Their biases and stereotypes often stay with them for their entire lives. As such, other current employees and past employees may have experienced the same unfair treatment. Speak to them and ask if they would be willing to testify in your case, which can also serve as strong evidence.
Settlement Amounts in Age Discrimination Cases
No one can determine the value of an age discrimination claim without first fully analyzing the facts of the case. The value of your claim will increase with each piece of strong evidence and proof of damages, or losses. Other factors will also impact the value of an age discrimination claim. For example, a 40-year-old man will likely find it easier to find new employment than someone who was fired at 60 years old. As such, the 60-year-old worker may receive more in damages because they have suffered a bigger loss.
Other factors that will impact the overall value of a claim are whether you were a long-term employee, whether you were maliciously terminated, and the extent and nature of the discrimination. If you signed an arbitration agreement, this may also affect the value of your claim.
AGE DISCRIMINATION IN BEVERLY HILLS & RANCHO CUCAMONGA
To bring an age discrimination claim under California law, an employee must basically show that (i) the employee suffered an “adverse employment action” by his or her employer; (ii) that a “substantial motivating factor” for such action was the employee’s 40+ age; and (iii) that the employee was harmed by the employer’s conduct.
As explained by the Judicial Council of California Jury Instructions, “’ Adverse employment actions are not limited to ultimate actions such as termination or demotion. There is an adverse employment action if [name of defendant] has taken an action or engaged in a course or pattern of conduct that, taken as a whole, materially and adversely affected the terms, conditions, or privileges of [name of plaintiff]’s employment. An adverse employment action includes conduct that is reasonably likely to impair a reasonable employee’s job performance or prospects for advancement or promotion. However, minor or trivial actions or conduct that is not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset an employee cannot constitute an adverse employment action.”
A “substantial motivating reason” is a reason that actually contributed to the applicable adverse employment action. While it must be more than a remote or trivial reason, it need not be the only reason motivating the applicable adverse employment action.
To bring age discrimination under Federal Law, the standards are similar but there are some differences. You should consult an employment attorney to discuss the differences and determine whether bringing state and/or federal age discrimination claims makes sense in your particular situation.
Our Age Discrimination Lawyers in Beverly Hills, CA, Can Advise On Your Case
If you have been the victim of age discrimination, our experienced Beverly Hills, CA, age discrimination lawyers can help. At Mehtani Law Offices, our seasoned employment attorneys can identify if discrimination is happening and if so, hold your employer accountable while helping you recover full damages. Call us now at (310) 776-3590 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.