Age Discrimination

If you are an employee over the age of 40, the law protects you from age-based employment discrimination. California laws protect older employees, as does the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) amended the ADEA in 1990 and offers even more protections for older workers.

Despite state and federal statutes prohibiting age discrimination, it is nonetheless prevalent in the Bay Area. Employers often look for excuses to terminate older employees so they can replace them with younger, less expensive workers. Sometimes ageism is subtle; suddenly, you may find yourself with fewer reports, a smaller territory or lower-profile projects. At other times, discrimination may be blatant; you may start receiving negative evaluations that lack substantiation. But regardless of the overt behavior, if the underlying reason for the adverse employment action taken against you is your age, your employer has broken the law.

The following are some examples of age-based employment discrimination:

  • Pressuring an older employee to retire by constantly asking when he or she plans to do so
  • Forcing an older employee to retire
  • Cutting older employees with the highest salaries before younger employees
  • Promoting a younger person rather than an older worker
  • Making comments about wanting “fresh faces” or “youthful energy” in the office
  • Refusing to hire a qualified employee based on his or her age
  • The boss consistently socializing with younger workers or giving them the best job opportunities, or otherwise displaying a preference against older employees
  • Not permitting an older employee to learn new skills or attend training

If you’d like to learn more about your rights, contact Jeannette for a free consultation at (415) 444-5800 or by filling out a confidential consultation form here.