Have You Experienced Age Discrimination in the Workplace? Contact Us Today
Most companies understand the value of a good worker, and they know that talent, energy, and drive are not limited by age. Experience also matters. With it comes familiarity with the nuances of the job and the expertise of the worker. Unfortunately, many companies have taken a different path to growth and success. Rather than leverage the value of dedicated and experienced workers they look for ways to cut costs. They sometimes find them in firing, demoting, and otherwise discriminating against older workers. In today’s hyper-competitive job market, where young and hungry prospective job candidates are willing to work for pennies, they believe they can afford to sacrifice older workers or simply refuse to hire them.
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your age, you should seek the advice and counsel of an employment attorney. It can be the first step toward getting justice for yourself and others like you.
Age Discrimination in California
In California, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against someone because of their age. The age discrimination laws of the state apply to anyone who is 40 years or older. Corporations, government agencies, unions, and labor organizations are all prohibited from firing, excluding, expelling, or restricting employees or members because of their age. Nor can a person be denied a place in a training program or an apprenticeship because of their age.
Signs That You Are Being Targeted
You are not the kind of person who likes to complain, agitate, and make trouble for anyone. You are fit, determined, and willing to get the job done. All you ask is a fair chance to do the work you are qualified to do. This is the attitude that most people hold. And it is an attitude that employers bent on age discrimination are willing to take advantage of.
It can be difficult to determine whether a certain action has been taken against you because of your age. If you have been subject to an adverse action that seems arbitrary or inconsistent with your performance, then you may be the victim of age discrimination. Such adverse actions may include:
- Demotion or failure to promote
- Reduction in salary
- Denial of equal pay or pay rise
- A forced transfer
- Denial of medical leave
Employers know the employment laws of the state. They know that they cannot flat-out tell someone that their career is at an end because of their age. They instead engage in more subtle machinations when they want to get rid of an older employee.
The most common method of age discrimination starts with the sudden announcement of a so-called organizational restructuring. If you notice that the restructuring consists almost exclusively of the firing of employees who have been with the company longest and have higher salaries, then the company is in violation of California law. If you are among the victims, then you should hire an attorney.
Other signs of age discrimination are even more subtle. They include the promotion of a “young” corporate culture and fast-tracking younger people into positions of management and responsibility that they are clearly unqualified for. Another way of discriminating against older workers is to exclusively recruit younger ones. Employers can do this by screening and hiring applicants from high schools and universities. They can also join hiring programs aimed at young people.
These are all indications that things are not right in your company, and that older workers are being unfairly treated.
Holding Your Employer Accountable
You do not have to take such unjust treatment. However, the big question you may be asking yourself is: do I need a lawyer for age discrimination?
The short answer is yes. Age discrimination lawyers specialize in helping people who have been wronged by their employers get the justice they deserve. If you have been discriminated against because of your age and you want redress and restitution, you must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You will need to make a formal complaint to the agency. An EEOC representative will then discuss the complaint with you. You will then be invited to submit a formal complaint online. Your attorney will help you through this procedure. They will help you write up and submit the complaint to the EEOC so that it can be investigated by them.
If the EEOC investigation finds proof of age discrimination in your organization, they will not take legal action on your behalf. However, they will issue a report that can be used in your private lawsuit against the company. The one thing to keep in mind is that you must submit a complaint to the EEOC before you file a lawsuit against your employer.
Damages You Are Entitled To
The main aim of the age discrimination attorneys for the workplace that you hire is to maximize the settlement that you receive from your employer. If you are the victim of age discrimination, you are entitled to damages. These may include:
- Back pay
- Promotion or the income you would have received from it
- Money owed to you from the raises you should have received
- Bonus money you were unjustly denied
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
You can also seek punitive damages. These may be in order if the employer has acted in an especially egregious manner over a long period of time. They are designed not only to right the wrongs inflicted on the victims, but also to punish the employer for their wrongdoing and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
You should also keep in mind that an employer cannot fire or otherwise retaliate against you for reporting age discrimination. If they do so, you can work with age discrimination attorneys for the workplace to build up a case against them.
To answer the question do I need a lawyer for age discrimination, you must look carefully at what is going on in your workplace. If people over the age of 40 are being pushed out, then you must act legally against your employer.