Age discrimination occurs when an individual is treated differently or unfairly in the workplace because of their age. Age Discrimination generally becomes a problem when an individual over the age of 40 is treated unfairly. Discrimination towards an individual based on their age in the workplace is illegal under both state and federal law.
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) in California protects employees 40 years or older from suffering discrimination in the work environment or in the hiring process. The FEHA covers employers with 5 or more employees in their business. Additionally, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that protects workers and potential employees from age-based discrimination in the work environment. The ADEA applies to businesses with 20 or more employees.
Both state and federal laws provide remedies for retaliation in the work environment based on an employee’s or potential employee’s age. The laws mentioned above make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee that filed an age discrimination complaint.
Examples of Age Discrimination
* Illegal Early Retirement Deals
Early retirement deals may not be legitimate if the deal is based on the age of the employee being 40 years or over and there is no other legitimate business reason for the deal. If this occurs, the employee offered the deal may have a valid age discrimination claim.
*Illegal Employee Replacement
Employers at times attempt to replace workers on a routine basis. However, if an employee over the age of 40 can prove that they were specifically replaced in order to hire a younger employee, they may have a case for age discrimination.
* Illegal Wage Determinations
Violations of age discrimination laws can occur with any aspect of employment. With regard to wages and salaries, an employer cannot determine wages or salaries based on the fact the employee is over 40 years of age. For example, an age discrimination violation may occur when an employer decides an employee over 40 with higher pay should be replaced with a younger employee with entry level pay.
*Inequality in Job Benefits
In addition to the ADEA, workers also have federal protection against age discrimination via the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. The Act requires employers to treat older and younger employees equally in terms of the scope and amount of benefits received. Though employers may be tempted to spend less on benefits for older workers or offer less coverage than younger workers, both these actions are prohibited by federal law.
Help for Victims of Age Discrimination
If you think you’ve been a victim of age discrimination, contact us at Victory Law Group, LLP today for a free case evaluation. We are here to fight against unfair treatment in the work environment and would be honored to hear your case, free of charge, and advise you on legal remedies that may apply in your story.