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Age Discrimination

Dedicated Lawyers Advocating for Employee Rights

Age DiscriminationWhen you perform work, you should be judged for the quality of what you have achieved, regardless of your age. Unfortunately, some employers are biased against older workers and treat older workers as expendable. Both federal and state laws forbid your employer from using your age as the basis for an adverse employment decision if you are at least 40 years old. If you experienced age discrimination in the workplace, you should contact the Orange County age discrimination lawyers at the Serendib Law Firm.

Prohibitions Against Age Discrimination

Sometimes employers have preconceived stereotypes about which employees are qualified to do a certain job or how well they will be able to do it. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the California law that prohibits an employer from using your age as the basis for its employment decisions or hiring practices as long as you are at least 40. FEHA is similar to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), but it applies to employers with at least five employees, while the federal law applies only to larger employers.

What Counts as Age Discrimination Under FEHA?

Age discrimination under FEHA can include any negative action taken because you are at least age 40. Discriminatory acts could include failure to hire, termination, demotion, failure to promote, disparate pay, reduction in salary, layoffs, hostile work environment harassment, denial of medical leave, forced transfer, or any other adverse change to the terms and conditions of employment. For example, if your employer refuses to promote you to a more remunerative position even though you are best qualified because it wants “fresh blood,” an age discrimination attorney in Orange County can help you pursue a claim. Additionally, it is unlawful for a prospective employer to discourage older job applicants from applying to a job or applying to a training program, or to single out older workers during a layoff.

An employer probably will not explicitly admit that it is discriminating against you due to your age. However, certain indicia may signal that age discrimination may be present in your situation. For example, there may be age discrimination if only employees who are older have been laid off or if a manager makes remarks that demonstrate a bias in favor of younger workers. A bias could be couched in comments about wanting fresh eyes on a project or wanting to promote a youthful culture in the workplace. It could also be couched in denigrating or hostile comments about older workers. For example, a manager who repeatedly says that you should not participate in a training program because you cannot teach an old dog new tricks may be discriminating against you. Sometimes age discrimination exists when jokes and comments are made about an older employee’s age. Forcing older employees to retire is also likely to be considered age discrimination by a court.

Our Orange County age discrimination attorneys can help you pursue damages in court under FEHA by filing an administrative charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within three years of the date of an alleged violation.

Federal Law

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is the federal law that prohibits age discrimination against workers who are at least 40 years old. It is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and it applies only to employers that have at least 20 employees.

The ADEA was amended by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), which provides a range of additional protections to older workers. Employers are not allowed to target older workers for reduction in force programs or force older workers to release or waive their age discrimination claims without consideration. For a release of an age discrimination claim to be valid under the OWBPA, an employer needs to follow certain rules regarding the language and timing of the release, and the waiver must be knowing and voluntary.

Consult an Age Discrimination Lawyer in Orange County

Your employer should make decisions about your employment based on your skills, ability, and experience, but not your age. If you have faced age discrimination in your workplace, you should contact the Serendib Law Firm. We represent employees in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Call us at 1-800-LAW-8825 (800-529-8825) or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
"Integrity, competency, and compassion! Dimuth Amaratunga has represented me and counseled me in several matters over the last several years, and each time, I have benefited tremendously from his knowledge, his wisdom and his empathy. He is without a doubt an authority in employment law and personal injury. But most importantly, he has compassion and truly focused on getting the best result for his clients. I am a practicing attorney and I wholeheartedly recommend him and his firm!" David J.