Discriminating against an employee on the basis of his or her age is not just an unwise decision to do; it’s basically against the law. In fact, there are federal and California laws that prohibit this kind of employment discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) both make it illegal for covered employers to discriminate against employees age 40 or older on the basis of their age. While the FEHA applies to employers with 5 or more employees, the ADEA applies to those with at least 20 employees.
But how can they determine if they are being subjected to this illegal act in the first place? Here are some things they should look at:
· Comments that are biased to the elderly, from simple name-calling to conversations regarding the company wanting a younger image, can be discriminatory if it is severe enough to cause a hostile working environment. It is imperative for the employees to document what were said in the conversations, including the date, time, and place where they happened.
· It is also considered age discrimination if the older employees are unfairly disciplined for a certain violation while the younger employees who commit the same are not. Likewise, they must document what happened on that instance.
· Getting ridiculed, called various names, or anything else in an attempt to try to make an older employee quit his or her job is already discrimination.
· Preferring younger, inexperienced workers in the hiring process or in promotions would definitely have an effect on older, more experienced ones who are aspiring to land decent jobs.
· An employer who suddenly gives an older employee reviews citing negative work performance may be grounds for an age discrimination claim.
Speaking of claims, it is imperative for victims of age discrimination to file them with the appropriate agency that enforces employment and labor laws such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Alternately, they may seek the expertise of a Los Angeles discrimination attorney.