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Los Angeles Age Discrimination Lawyers

Age DiscriminationAge discrimination occurs in the workplace when employees who are 40 or older are treated unfavorably due to their age. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits employers from engaging in age discrimination and imposes liability on companies that violate the law. Nevertheless, thousands of older employees are still being discriminated against every year.

At Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP, our Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys are dedicated to helping the victims of age discrimination to pursue all available legal remedies so that they can obtain justice and compensation to which they may be entitled.

What Constitutes Age Discrimination at Work?

While age discrimination can occur in various ways, it commonly involves employees who are 40 and older being:

  • Fired, laid off, forced to quit as a result of their age
  • Passed over for promotions due to their age
  • Demoted, have their pay reduced, or have their hours cut due to their age
  • Offered inferior pay, benefits and/or job assignments due to their age
  • Not getting hired due to their age
  • Subjected to employers’ policies or practices that discriminate against them because of their age

In general, the majority of age discrimination cases involve workers who are terminated or mistreated by a younger supervisor. However, this does not have to be the case, as company owners and supervisors who engage in discriminatory conduct can be the same age or even older than their victims.

Age Discrimination: Causes and Statistics

As people both live and work longer than in the past, approximately one in five workers in the United States is now 55 or older. Unfortunately, this trend has only increased ageism in the workplace. Employers are typically motivated not by an actual dislike of older employees, but by stereotypes or greed, such as a mistaken belief that older employees will make the company seem less cutting edge, may not remain with the company long term or may require greater medical expenses.

One recent study showed that 30 percent of people over age 53 face some kind of discrimination due to their age. According to another recent study, 64 percent of workers say that they have either experienced or saw some form of age discrimination in the workplace.

Not surprisingly, older employees are not only more likely to be terminated, but once they are terminated they have a harder time finding another job than their younger counterparts. On average, it takes someone age 55 or over three months longer to find a job than a younger person.

How is Age Discrimination Proven?

Most employers and supervisors who engage in age discrimination naturally do not admit their true reasons, and will often attempt to justify their actions by blaming non-age related factors such as unsatisfactory employee performance, downsizing, reductions in the workforce, or company reorganization. Fortunately, even when there is no “smoking gun” evidence of age discrimination, victims of discrimination can still often prove their claims through circumstantial or indirect evidence.

Some examples of conduct that may be persuasive evidence of age discrimination include:

  • Discriminatory comments by the owner or supervisor relating to the employee’s age, such as jokes about age and appearance, the employee being asked when he or she will retire, or derogatory comments about the worker being slow, his or her technology skills, etc.
  • An older employee being replaced by a significantly younger employee with inferior or at best equal qualifications
  • Older employees being disproportionately affected by company layoffs or workforce reductions
  • Younger employees receiving preferential treatment in pay, promotions, work conditions, etc.
  • Older employees not being provided training and other opportunities to grow with the company, being excluded from important meetings, or being stripped of some of their duties
  • A pattern of hiring mostly younger workers
  • Evidence of different or inconsistent workplace rules and standards being applied to employees of different ages, for example, an older worker accused of a particular wrongdoing being punished more harshly than a younger worker who did the same thing, or an older employee undeservedly receiving a worse performance evaluation than a younger employee

Age-Based Harassment

In addition to prohibiting discrimination, the FEHA has a separate prohibition on harassment based on an individual’s age. Age harassment occurs when an employer creates or allows the existence of an abusive, offensive, or intimidating work environment which negatively affects an employee’s ability to perform his or her work.

The most common incidences of age-based harassment involve slurs, jokes, and offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s age. Such comments both support a claim for age discrimination and give rise to a separate claim for age harassment. Both the company and individual harasser himself/herself can be liable on the harassment claim.

Contact Los Angeles Age Discrimination Attorneys for Free Case Consultation

If you feel that you have been discriminated against or treated unfairly because of your age, contact a Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP to assist you. To set up an initial free consultation with one of our Los Angeles discrimination attorneys, call us at (310) 575-2550 or email us using the contact form for a quick response.

With office locations in Los Angeles and San Bernardino, our age discrimination attorneys provide legal service and representation to clients throughout California.

Frequently Asked Questions for our Age Discrimination Lawyers

What are some examples of age discrimination in the workplace?

Examples of age discrimination in the workplace can include:

  • Refusing to hire someone because of their age
  • Firing someone because of their age
  • Failing to promote someone because of their age
  • Forcing someone to retire because of their age
  • Paying someone less or providing fewer benefits because of their age
  • Harassment or bullying based on someone’s age
  • Providing different training or job opportunities based on someone’s age
  • Making ageist comments or jokes in the workplace.

What can I do if I have been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace?

If you believe you have been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace, you can take the following steps:

  • Document the incidents: Keep a record of any incidents of age discrimination that you have experienced or witnessed.
  • Report the incidents to your employer: Report the incidents to your supervisor or HR department. If you feel that reporting the incidents to your employer is not possible, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • File a complaint with the EEOC: You can file a complaint with the EEOC within 180 days of the last incident of age discrimination.
  • Consult with an attorney: An attorney who specializes in age discrimination cases can help you understand your rights and options and guide you through the legal process.

What are the damages available in an age discrimination case?

The damages available in an age discrimination case can include:

  • Back pay: This is the amount of money you would have earned if you had not been the victim of age discrimination.
  • Front pay: This is the amount of money you will lose in the future because of the age discrimination.
  • Compensatory damages: This is the money you are awarded for your emotional distress and any other out-of-pocket expenses that you incurred because of the age discrimination.
  • Punitive damages: This is the money you are awarded to punish your employer for the age discrimination.
  • Reinstatement: This is when the court orders your employer to give you your job back.

What are the defenses to an age discrimination claim?

The defenses to an age discrimination claim can include:

  • Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ): This is when the age requirement is necessary for the job and is justified by business necessity.
  • Reasonable factors other than age (RFOA): This is when the employer’s actions were based on a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason that is not based on the employee’s age.
  • Statute of limitations: This is when the claim is brought outside of the time frame allowed by law.
  • Lack of evidence: This is when there is not enough evidence to prove that age discrimination occurred.

What should I include in an age discrimination complaint?

Your age discrimination complaint should include:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your age and the dates of your employment
  • The name of your employer
  • A description of the incidents of age discrimination
  • Any supporting documentation or evidence of the age discrimination
  • The specific relief you are seeking
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