Age Discrimination Claim in California

Age Discrimination in California is one of the biggest problems encountered in workplace there. While every employee is an asset of the company, some entitled ones end up looking down on different people because of several reasons. Age is just one of those many reasons. Age discrimination happens when one individual’s act discriminates against a co-employee, or a subordinate on the basis of the employee’s age. How does this kind of discrimination in the workplace happen and what can you do to protect yourself from these acts? How can you dodge others’ harassment while in the office?

In 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or ADEA was signed into law. However, as the years have passed, loopholes of this law were exposed and so; amendments were made accordingly to make it more effective in combating and preventing age discrimination in the workplace. Under the California Age Discrimination Law, an employer cannot discriminate against an employee in any aspect of employment. These aspects include the hiring process, firing or lay off of employees, the job assignments given, training that workers undergo, as well as fringe benefits offered to them.

The ADEA provides protection to employees who have been harassed because of their age. This law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, as well as isolated incidents that aren’t really serious. However, the frequent commission of such harassing acts becomes illegal if it is serious enough to offend someone and make the working environment hostile for some of the employees there. Harassment is also prohibited if the act of harassment leads to the firing, demotion, or similar adverse employment decisions made by either the management or the employee concerned. The direct supervisor of the employee or one from another area, a simple co-worker, even non-employees like clients or customers are capable of harassing a worker.

That however is not where discrimination happens alone. Sadly, it can also be in the guise of an employment policy or practice that is directed at everybody in the workplace, regardless of what one worker’s age is. This is true if such policies or practice, even though not targeted to a particular person, cause a negative impact on the company’s applicants or employees that are aged 40 and older. A perfect example would be occasions where these said policies and practices are not based on reasonable factors other than one’s age.

Another employment policy or practice that can constitute an act of age discrimination is the policy about mandatory retirement for members of the workforce over the age of 40. This is clearly another violation, not just of the ADEA, but other laws as well. There is a legitimate required retirement age that everybody should follow. There are also some firms that deny or decrease of benefits exclusively for older employees. This policy is also very much illegal. Reduction or benefits being offered to employees can only be allowed if such decrease is implemented across the company, meaning young and old employees are all affected. No particular age group should be singled out in rolling out such policies, especially those protected under the Age Discrimination law in California.

Age discrimination should never be tolerated and strong legal actions should be taken to make abusive employers be held liable for such offenses. And so, if you have been a victim of any acts that constitute age discrimination, make sure to go ahead and file the necessary complaints to the proper authorities. For one, you can file the said complaints to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), so that they can help you pursue a case against these violators. Another would be filing a complaint directly to the courts. Of course in such cases, hiring a good age discrimination lawyer can help ensure your win in such claims should you decide to pursue it.

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