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California protection against age discrimination

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2023 | Discrimination, Employment Law |

Age discrimination in the workplace generally refers to biased actions against employees or potential employees aged 40 or older for no reason except their age. It may take the form of always hiring younger people, demoting or refusing to promote older workers, changing older employees’ duties to unpleasant ones or trying to “encourage” older individuals to quit or retire through actions like purposefully giving them poor performance reviews.

It is also not an uncommon phenomenon, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reporting that more than 20 percent of the workplace discrimination claims they received in 2020 were for age discrimination. However, California does have protections against age-based workplace discrimination.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act

The FEHA shields employees from harassment and discrimination based on a variety of factors. These include race, religion, gender, marital status and age among others. It also protects individuals from retaliation for reporting discrimination.

Possible responses to age discrimination

After discussing a potential age discrimination situation with supervisors or human resources or eliminating this as a reasonable action, the natural next step is to report the incident or incidents of discrimination. The state requires employees to first try filing with either the Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the EEOC. If these avenues fail, they may then file a legal claim for provable damages. They must show that their age was a major factor in their employers’ decision to commit discrimination, but not the only one.

Age discrimination is illegal in California. Individuals whose employers or potential employers subject them to discrimination because of their age have the right to take legal steps.