Costa Mesa Employment Lawyers for Ageism
All forms of discrimination at the workplace are unacceptable. One form of discrimination that goes underreported is ageism. Anyone who has attempted to pursue a new job in their 50s or 60s is well aware of how hard it is to find a company willing to hire an experienced applicant over a young applicant. Others may have experienced ageism when they did not receive the promotion they deserved or when they were let go based solely on their age. Anyone facing this kind of discrimination would be well advised to seek a consultation with an experienced California employment lawyer.
Ageism is when someone stereotypes people based on their age. Age discrimination commonly involves senior citizens in the workplace who are wrongfully terminated or not promoted because of their age. There are cases in which a young employee may be discriminated against because of his or her age as well. Many of the laws related to ageism in the workplace are included in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
There are many protections for employees and job applicants in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Companies that must adhere to these protections include employment agencies, general employers, labor unions and the federal government. There are some companies, however, that are exempt including contractors and elected officials. The ADEA includes a ban against age discrimination and also prohibits:
- The inclusion of age preferences on job notices.
- Denial of benefits to older employers.
- Discrimination in terms of hiring, promoting or terminating employees because of their age.
- Paying an employee less because of his or her age.
- Mandatory retirement unless the employee is an executive over the age of 65 who is entitled to a pension over a minimum yearly amount.
Who Isn’t Protected
Not all employees are protected under the law from ageism. Individuals who are considered in a high policy making position who will make over $44,000 a year in benefits after retirement may be required to retire at the age of 65. There are also exceptions for firefighters, police officers, federal employees who work in air traffic control and law enforcement and tenured university faculty. Jobs that require their employees to look a certain age may be exempt from ageism protections as well. This type of exception is called a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification and it is relevant in southern California because it typically involves models or actors who have to look a certain age.
Individuals who claim that they were treated unfairly because of their age may face a strong defense from the employer. It is common for employers to claim that they had good cause for their actions that did not involve age or that there were real and reasonable factors for their decisions such as performance issues or financial reasons that do not involve age. The claimant in such cases may have to prove through evaluations of their performance at the company that there was no real reason for their lack of promotion or termination. Performance evaluations and interviews can help an individual prove that they were a valued team player who was clearly wronged because of his or her age.
Other Forms of Discrimination
Ageism is just one form of discrimination and an injustice against which a skilled Costa Mesa employment lawyer can help you fight. Other cases may involve discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, religion, gender and disabilities. Many employment lawyers handle wrongful termination cases and disputes regarding wages earned and hours worked. A skilled Orange County employment attorney can also help individuals who have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace.
If you or a loved one has been discriminated against by a potential, current or former employer, the experienced Costa Mesa employment lawyers at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please call us at 949-203-3814 or contact us for a free and comprehensive consultation.
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