Age discrimination in the workplace can cause an employee to feel uncomfortable or unable to perform their daily professional tasks, thus creating a hostile work environment that hinders their professional abilities. These cases typically involve employees aged 40 years or older, but some state laws cover younger employees as well.
These types of discrimination can cover various behaviors, from discriminatory comments made by an employer or fellow co-worker to actions being taken against an employee over a certain age. Age discrimination in the workplace can cause an employee to suffer mental trauma that makes it impossible for him or her to perform their job to the best of their ability, and these cases are often taken very seriously by managers and human resources departments in companies of all trades.
California Age Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
People of all ages are protected from discrimination under equal employment opportunity laws, and those over the age of 40 are protected from being discriminated against simply due to their age. Equal employment opportunity laws were brought about during the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, was created at the same time to ensure that these laws are being upheld. Complaints of age discrimination are handled by this federal agency, and all workers are protected from being discriminated against due to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws and the EEOC that works hard to uphold them.
What to do if Age Discrimination is Experienced
It is illegal for a co-worker, employer, or other person involved with a company or workplace to discriminate against people of a certain age, and this can be done in a variety of ways:
• Firing due to age
• Lowered pay due to age
• Layoffs due to age
• Lack of promotions or job assignments due to age
• Terms or conditions of employment being violated due to age
• Harassment due to age
• Continued and severe offhand comments made about an employee’s age
These actions can be taken by a variety of different people in the workplace, and it is not limited for these actions to be carried out simply by an employer. A client, vendor, customer, or other entity involved with the company can discriminate against a person’s age, and all situations of age discrimination should be taken seriously and handled appropriately.
Instances of age discrimination should be handled promptly to ensure the behaviors cease, and there are several steps a person should take to ensure they are given a fair workplace experience regardless of their age.
The first step a person should take, particularly in instances of harassment, is asking the offending party to stop their behavior. If a person is saying discriminatory things about a co-worker regarding their age, they may not be fully aware of the uncomfortable situation they are creating, and asking them to stop can be an easy way to curb these behaviors.
If asking the offending party to stop is found not to work in ceasing the behaviors, and the discrimination was done by a co-worker or other entity, a person should then make their manager or supervisor aware of the incident. Often, managers will take these instances very seriously to avoid a costly lawsuit, and those in charge are legally obligated to make sure that equal employment opportunity laws are upheld and their employees are given a safe and fair place to work.
If speaking to a manager or supervisor is found not to help in remedying the problem, or the discrimination is being done by a manger or supervisor, a person should then bring the incident or incidents to the human resources department of their workplace. The human resources department is in place to make sure that all employees are given a fair and comfortable place of employment, and they will typically handle the individual case appropriately to ensure the employee is no longer discriminated against.
If a person finds that the age discrimination against them continues after they have asked the offending party to stop and taken the incident to their manager, supervisor, or human resources department, they may decide that a lawsuit is their next best option. Employers and companies must provide a fair and safe work environment for their employees and fight against any discrimination that may be experienced by law, and if they fail to do this by neglecting these incidents they can face lawsuits to cover the mental anguish damages that an employee was forced to deal with during the course of their employment. These lawsuits are often avoided when a company takes action against discrimination, but in some instances when a company neglects to do so, a lawsuit may be in an employee’s best interest.
The Importance of Retaining An Attorney In Age Discrimination Lawsuits
A lawsuit is the next step when a company refuses to acknowledge and remedy problems of age discrimination, as these hostile work environment cases can cause an employee to experience mental anguish and emotional trauma. The prolonged exposure to discrimination of any kind can take a serious toll on an employee’s well-being, and harassment due to age discrimination is not excluded from this rule.
When filing a lawsuit in an age discrimination case against an employer the help of a skilled Orange County Attorney handling age discrimination attorney. They are an invaluable resource in making the most of the lawsuit at hand. These professionals know all of the ins and outs of California equal opportunity employment laws throughout their state, and they will be able to make sure their client receives the compensation they deserve.
If you are the victim of age discrimination in please do not hesitate to contact Orange County Employment Law Attorney Jihad M. Smaili to discuss your case. I offer free consultations to those facing issues in the workplace.