Frequently Asked Questions Surrounding Age Discrimination
If you’ve been discriminated against in the workplace based on your age, it’s possible you can hire a Los Angeles workplace lawyer to win compensation based on your unlawful treatment. Ageism in the workplace is very common. In fact, the AARP found that 2 in 3 older workers have witnessed or experienced ageism.
Discrimination on the basis of age can happen in the following circumstances:
- Conditions or Privileges of Employment
Realizing you’re the victim of ageism can be difficult, so age discrimination attorneys for the workplace have compiled a few frequently asked questions below.
What Is Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination in the workplace involves treating someone unfairly because of their age. This can range from disparaging comments about being older to joking about an older worker’s slow typing speed. More overt forms of age discrimination can come in the form of hiring only young employees and fired older employees.
Do I Need A Lawyer For Age Discrimination In Los Angeles?
It can be hard to tell when you are experiencing ageism since it can come in many forms. Age discrimination lawyers Los Angeles have listed a few examples below:
- Pressure to retire
- Exclusion in meeting or company activities
- Exclusion from difficult assignments, or rather, receiving an unfair share of tedious work
- Being passed over for a promotion
- An assumption that you do not need time off because you do not have young children
- Being let go on the basis that the company needs “new blood”
- Being let go once younger management moves in or new technology is introduced
Which Federal Laws Cover Age Discrimination?
Discrimination of employees over the age of 40 is illegal nationwide due to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). This act protects employees from age discrimination in all aspects of the workplace, not just from being fired.
Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) is an amendment to ADEA that explicitly protects older workers from ageism in hiring, working, and termination of the employment process. Some workplaces will ask older employees to sign a waiver releasing them from claiming age discrimination. OWBPA bars employers from pressuring employees to sign these waivers.
Each state has more specific laws regarding ageism.
California has addiltional laws surrounding age discrimination. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is responsible for enforcing state laws that make it illegal for any public or private business with five or more employees to discriminate against a job applicant or employee over the age of 40.
Are All Older Workers Protected Under The Law?
Age discrimination laws protect workers over the age of 40. These are put in place to ensure that workers under the age of 40 are not being favored over those who are older than 40. ADEA servers as blanket protection for older workers. For example, it’s illegal for a workplace to favor someone who is 55 over someone who is 60.
Are Young Workers Protected?
ADEA protects older workers only. However, each state has their own laws when it comes to discriminating against workers for being younger.
Can I Be Fired Or Not Hired Because A Younger Employee Costs The Company Less?
While a company can’t replace an older employee with someone younger on the basis of age, they may have other reasons to justify the decision. Younger workers often have lower salary expectations, which makes them more appealing to a business. If the company bases the hiring decision on salary, it is not illegal.
Can I Be Fired To Stop My Pension Benefits From Vesting Or Because My Health Insurance Is More Costly?
OWBPA protects elderly workers from being fired on the basis that their benefits were too costly. Employers must follow the "equal benefits or equal cost" rule, which means that all workers have the same benefits regardless of age and that the employee pays the same for each employee’s benefits. Benefits can only be legally reduced if they are reduced for all employees.
For example, if you are older and the $100 monthly premium covered by your employer is not enough to cover all your medical costs per month, that is legal as long as a younger employee is also getting that $100 monthly coverage, regardless of if they use it.
Can An Employer Ask My Age On A Job Application?
Employers should not ask for your specific age, but it’s allowed to ensure someone is legally an adult by asking if they are over the age of 18.
What Do I Do if I’m the Victim of Age Discrimination in the Workplace?
When you suspect you’ve been the victim of a discriminatory environment, you should always contact a Los Angeles labor attorney because they will be well-versed in the ways you may have been discriminated against. A Los Angeles workplace lawyer can go over your case with you and ensure that you are filing your lawsuit within the statute of limitations in your state.