No one wants to get older, but aging is a fact of life. The longer we're alive, the more wrinkles we have and the more our bodies decline. That being said, most people can continue to perform in their jobs at the same capacity, even as they get a few more wrinkles around their eyes. And this is why it's so distressing and unfortunate when someone loses his or her job as a direct result of aging. It's also a violation of federal age discrimination laws.
By virtue of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees and potential employees on the basis of their ages (if the worker is 40 years old or older). In other words, employers cannot put up job advertisements that target younger workers or discriminate against workers who are 40-plus years of age. Furthermore, employers can't make hiring, firing, promotion, wage, pay, benefits and other decisions on the basis of a worker's age if the worker exceeds 40 years.
The existence of the ADEA and other anti-age discrimination laws is certainly a boon to older workers, but it's not the "end-all-be-all" protector against such discrimination and harassment. Indeed, workers need to recognize when they're being victimized and stand up for their rights whenever necessary.
If you suspect that you may have lost your job because of age discrimination or suffered some other kind of age-related harassment or discrimination, our San Francisco law office is available to discuss the facts of your case with you and recommend the best next steps to protect your state and federal employment rights.