Oakland Age Discrimination Attorneys

Age discrimination lawyer in Oakland

Standing up for employees who face age discrimination at work.

The common saying goes “age is just a number.” But what happens when that number is used against you in your workplace? Some employers rightfully value the experience of older employees and view them as essential to the workforce. However, many others use stereotypes about older workers to shun them in favor of younger employees. Treating an employee differently based on their age is not just wrong and disrespectful, it can be illegal.

Employees who are 40 years of age or older are in a protected class under federal and California law. Age is a protected characteristic just like race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation and disability, among others. This means that employers cannot decline to hire, fire, demote or take other adverse employment actions against an employee or job applicant because of their age. Nonetheless, age discrimination remains a harmful reality in many workplaces.

In 2019, the median age of American employees was 42.3. By 2024, 25 percent of the U.S. workforce is projected to be over 55. Almost one-fifth of employment complaints received in 2017 by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing were for age discrimination, compared to 11 percent in 2016.

Erlich Law Firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of employees who face age discrimination at work. Our knowledgeable and compassionate Oakland employment attorneys will explain your legal options. If your employer has violated the law by treating you differently due to your age, we are prepared to help you get compensation and put an end to the discriminatory practices.

Age Discrimination Is Illegal Under Federal and California Law

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) makes it unlawful for employers with 20 or more employees to use age as a negative factor in hiring, training, benefits or other aspects of employment. California also has a law that prohibits employers from using discriminatory practices in the workplace to target older employees, known as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). It applies to all employers with five or more workers. Both the ADEA and FEHA protect employees and job applicants over the age of 40 from age discrimination.

What Are Some Common Forms of Age Discrimination?

Sometimes it is obvious that the disparate treatment of an older worker is motivated by their age, but in other cases age-based discriminatory practices take on subtler forms. Here are some examples of ways in which employers may engage in age discrimination against employees and job applicants:

  • Decreasing the pay of older workers
  • Denying benefits due to age
  • Demoting an older employee
  • Promoting a younger, less-experienced worker over an older employee
  • Creating a hostile work environment with age-related comments and jokes
  • Blocking older workers from undergoing the same training as younger workers
  • Wrongfully terminating older employees
  • Implementing layoffs that impact mostly older employees
  • Urging older employees to quit
  • Refusing to hire workers based on age
  • Posting job notices that include age-related preferences or limitations
  • Asking about a job applicant’s age during an interview

If you have experienced any of these adverse employment actions, you should speak to an employment lawyer. You may feel like you have no choice but to quit your job or suffer retaliation from your employer for complaining about their discriminatory practices. However, the law gives employees important rights and protections from age discrimination.

Filing an Age Discrimination Claim

Employers tend to take precautionary steps to shield themselves from potential discrimination claims. They try to make sure that age does not appear to be the obvious motivating reason in layoffs, annual reviews and promotion decisions. As a result, age discrimination may sometimes be disguised as legitimate business considerations.

California workers who experience workplace discrimination because of their age can sue their employer under the FEHA or ADEA. If the claim is successful, the employee can recover lost earnings and benefits, among other possible damages. The employee bears the responsibility for providing evidence that proves the mistreatment they suffered was based on age. Fortunately, you do not have to deal with the legal process on your own. An age discrimination attorney can make sure to gather all the necessary evidence on your behalf and represent your best interests in the case.

Call for a Free Case Evaluation

Erlich Law Firm believes in using the power of the law to right injustices in the workplace. If you have been subjected to age discrimination at work, our Oakland employment lawyers can advise you on the best legal action to take based on the details of your situation. Get started today with a free consultation.

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Jason took the time to explain and guide me through the challenging process, and went the extra steps in consistently providing guidance and putting my concerns and questions high on their list.

Jeff V., Oakland