Four former employees of Hewlett Packard have named the technology giant in a new age discrimination lawsuit, alleging that they were unfairly purged during a major restructuring, which involved tens of thousands of other layoffs.
In the lawsuit, which was filed in California near the end of 2016, the former employees argue that HP prioritized transforming the company into a “younger operation”, shying away from the older generation. They specifically cited the disproportionate hiring of new employees aged 40 or younger, compared to employees aged 40 or older who were terminated.
The complaint also claims that, back in 2013, human resources personnel at HP circulated written guidelines, which required that 75 percent of outside hires be “early career” applicants coming straight out of school.
Age Discrimination in the Workplace
In the workplace, age discrimination occurs when workers who are aged 40 years or older are treated unfavorably due to their age. The state of California strictly prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on age, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act imposes liability on organizations found to be engaging in age discrimination.
As shown by the Hewlett Packard lawsuit, age discrimination can even be found when the company legitimately goes through downsizing or restructuring. While an employer generally has the right to consolidate or reduce its workforce, a company cannot use downsizing or restructuring as an opportunity to get rid of qualified older workers while keeping younger employees.
Age discrimination can occur in a number of ways. An incident may qualify as age discrimination if it involves workers aged over 40 dealing with being:
- Laid off, fired or forced to quit due to age
- Passed over for career advancement due to age
- Demoted or being subjected to a reduction in pay, including cut hours, due to age
- Passed over for employment due to age
Often age discrimination cases involve employees who are terminated or mistreated by a supervisor who is younger. However, this is not always the case. The fact is that anyone can engage in discriminatory conduct, and in some cases the perpetrators may be the same age or older than those they are discriminating against.
Discrimination Attorneys in Los Angeles and San Bernardino
Broslavsky & Weinman specializes in workplace discrimination cases, and has successfully represented many workers who have been discriminated against. We can work with you to assess the circumstances surrounding your potential discrimination claim and recommend the best strategic course of action for the recovery of compensation or other damages.
To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys, call our law office at (310) 575-2550.