Garden Grove Employment Attorneys

Top Rated Employment Attorneys in Garden Grove, California

Our firm distinguishes itself from its responsiveness, experience, and knowledge.  In fact, we have attorneys covering cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as the State’s landscape.  For example, in Garden Grove, California, our legal counselors are highly specialized and handle complex employment lawsuits where private individuals trust us to bring forth their cases in local, state and federal courts.  Call Stephen Danz and Associates for any employment litigation related cases throughout California.

Age Discrimination

Two of the major statutes prohibiting age discrimination in California are the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (codified at 29 USC §§621–634) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (codified at Govt. C §§12900–12996). Both statutes prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of age. (29 USC §§623, 631(a) and Govt C §12940(a), respectively).  Our firm attorneys handle age discrimination cases on behalf of many California clients.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees 40 years old or older on the basis of age in hiring, promoting, pay, or termination.  The ADEA is similar to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in many respects.  When a provision in the ADEA mirrors Title VII, courts may rely on Title VII cases interpreting that provision in construing its counterpart under the ADEA.

What Is Prohibited under Age Discrimination?

The ADEA makes it illegal for a covered employer to do the following:

(1) Fail to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of his or her age;

(2) Limit, segregate, or classify employees in a way that would deprive or tend to deprive anyone of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his or her status as an employee, because of the person’s age; or

(3) Reduce the wage rate of any employee to comply with the ADEA.

Formal versus Informal Actions

The company’s prohibited action may either be a “formal, facially discriminatory policy,” or it may be “ad hoc [and] informal.”  In practice, discriminatory employment actions are likely to be informal rather than based on an official and facially discriminatory policy.  Informal discriminatory practices are also prohibited by the ADEA.  But even without an official discriminatory policy, an adverse employment action is nonetheless actionable under the ADEA if it has the purpose of disparately treating older employees or has the effect of disparately impacting those older employees. See Trans World Airlines, Inc. v Thurston (1985) 469 US 111, 121, 105 S Ct 613 (airline’s requirement that pilots retire at age 60 unless they successfully bid for transfer to engineering position was actionable disparate treatment under ADEA);


Like Title VII, the ADEA prohibits retaliation against an employee for filing or otherwise participating in an ADEA charge or claim.

Which Employers May Be Liable?

The ADEA applies to public and private employers who engage in a business affecting commerce and have at least 20 employees. When determining whether an employer satisfies the 20-employee threshold, employees of U.S. companies working outside the country are counted. The ADEA differs from Title VII in that its definition of “employer” does not specifically exclude Indian tribes, bona fide clubs, or religious organizations.

What Employees Are Protected?

A person must be at least age 40 to qualify as a covered employee under the ADEA.  Notably, favoring an older person over a younger one because of age is not prohibited, even if the younger one is over 40. ADEA prohibits discrimination against protected employees on the basis of age, not class membership. The fact that the plaintiff has lost out to a person who is in the protected class is irrelevant, as long as the reason was the plaintiff’s age.

What is the Time Limitations to File the Charge With EEOC?

The requirements for filing a timely charge of age discrimination under the ADEA are the same as under Title VII.  A California employee must file a charge with the EEOC within the following periods: 300 days after the alleged discriminatory act occurs; or 30 days after receiving notice of termination of proceedings under state law (FEHA), whichever is earlier.

When Discriminatory Act “Occurs”?

With respect to discrimination in compensation in violation of the ADEA, a discriminatory act “occurs” when (i) a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted; (ii) an individual becomes subject to that discriminatory decision or practice; or (iii) an individual is affected by application of that discriminatory decision or practice (i.e., each time the individual is paid).

How Can Our Attorneys Assist Those Discriminated?

As under Title VII, a plaintiff must file an action alleging a violation of the ADEA within 90 days after receiving a right-to-sue letter.  Our attorneys can assist with obtaining such a letter.

How to Prove Discrimination under ADEA?

A plaintiff may prove a violation of the ADEA by showing discrimination based on age, through either disparate treatment or disparate impact.  A plaintiff may also establish a violation of the ADEA by showing that an employer took retaliatory action because the employee engaged in protected activity.  Each can be litigated separately.

What is Discrimination in the Form of Disparate Treatment?

A plaintiff bringing a disparate treatment claim under the ADEA must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence (that is, 51%), that age was the “but-for” cause of the challenged adverse employment action. In other words, it was the main factor in the employer’s adverse employment action, not merely one of several contributing factors to the decision.