California Age Discrimination Laws
Discrimination in the workplace is illegal under both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and one of the premier types is discrimination on the basis of age.
Under both laws, individuals over the age of 40 are considered a protected class. But individuals under forty years old are not protected by age discrimination in the workplace laws. There is no upper age limit; however, some federal and/or state regulations do have upper limits that must be respected. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration will not allow pilots more than 65 years of age to act as pilot in command of a transport-category aircraft under Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
Illegal age discrimination can occur in hiring, training, benefits, compensation, promotion, firing, layoffs, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. For example, an employer refusing to hire someone because he or she is thirty and “too young” is not illegal, but if an employer refuses to hire someone because he or she is forty and “too old”, that is illegal. Also, it is illegal to replace a person over 40 with a person under 40, if the main reason for the replacement is the employee’s age.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination in employment against workers age 40 or older by making it unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or discrimination against any individual in regards to their compensation or term and conditions of employment. The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more full-time or regular part-time employees for each working day. However, the U.S. Government and Government-owned corporations are exempt from the ADEA.
The ADEA can be enforced through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as by a private action. A charge with the EEOC must be filed within 180 days of the unlawful practice. Before commencing a civil action under the ADEA, the aggrieved party must exhaust the administrative remedies available through the EEOC.
Similarly, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibit employment discrimination based on age for individuals age 40 or older. The FEHA applies to employers with five or more employees.
Before commencing suit on a FEHA claim, the employee must exhaust their administrative remedies by filing a claim with the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment.
Our age discrimination lawyers are part of a statewide California law firm that’s dedicated to representing employees in disputes against their employers. Stephen Danz & Associates, based in Los Angeles, California, protects clients from retaliation, discrimination, and harassment involving dismissal, demotion, or denial of accommodation based on age, race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, marital status, association, physical or mental disability, or other legally protected classifications. Additionally, we represent employees if they have not been paid the proper wages including overtime or minimum wage or given the proper meal breaks. If you believe that you are the victim of discrimination, please contact one of our age discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles for a free consultation. We take cases on a contingency basis and collect no attorney fees unless we win your case.