San Francisco Age Discrimination Lawyer
Fighting Against Ageism with an Age Discrimination Lawyer
Your worth as an employee or job candidate should never be judged based on your age. If you think that actions taken against you at work were due to age discrimination; such as being passed over for promotion or being terminated unfairly; then it is time for a dedicated team at Nichols Kaster, PLLP to intervene and help protect your rights under federal and state laws.
Here's how we can assist you:
- Thorough Evaluation: We will assess the details of your case to determine if age discrimination has occurred, gathering evidence to support your claims.
- Negotiation and Mediation: We will work diligently to resolve your case through negotiation or mediation, striving for a fair settlement that meets your needs.
- Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached, our skilled litigators will take your case to court, zealously advocating for your rights in front of a judge and jury.
- Comprehensive Legal Strategy: Our team will develop a comprehensive legal strategy tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring the best possible outcome for your case.
What is Considered Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination in the workplace refers to unfair treatment or discriminatory practices directed at employees or job applicants based on their age. This form of discrimination occurs when individuals are treated less favorably or denied opportunities, benefits, or rights due to their age, whether they are perceived as too young or too old for the position or workplace activities. Age discrimination can have serious consequences on an individual's career, self-esteem, and financial security.
The following are the common forms of age discrimination:
- Hiring Discrimination: Age discrimination can occur during the hiring process when employers favor younger applicants over older ones, even if the older candidates are equally or more qualified. Job advertisements that specify age preferences or using age-related language (e.g., seeking "recent college graduates") are red flags.
- Promotion and Advancement Bias: Some employers may bypass older employees for promotions, raises, or leadership positions, assuming that younger employees are more innovative, adaptable, or tech-savvy. This bias can limit career growth for older workers.
- Layoffs and Termination: Older workers are sometimes targeted for layoffs or forced retirement as a cost-cutting measure, despite their valuable experience and contributions. Employers may use euphemisms like "early retirement programs" to mask age-based termination.
- Unequal Pay and Benefits: Age discrimination can also manifest in the form of unequal compensation and benefits. Older workers may receive lower salaries, fewer bonuses, or fewer benefits compared to their younger counterparts doing the same job.
- Age-Based Harassment: Creating a hostile work environment through age-based jokes, derogatory comments, or offensive stereotypes is another form of age discrimination. Such behavior can make older employees feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, and disrespected.
- Mandatory Retirement: In some cases, employers may have policies that require employees to retire at a certain age, even if they are still capable and willing to work. Such policies are generally unlawful in many jurisdictions.
- Lack of Training and Development Opportunities: Older employees may be denied access to training programs or opportunities for skill development under the assumption that they are less willing or able to learn new skills or technologies.
- Inadequate Accommodations: Employers may fail to provide reasonable accommodations for older employees, such as ergonomic workspaces or modified work hours, even when such accommodations are necessary to support their continued employment.
- Isolation and Marginalization: Older workers may be excluded from important meetings, decision-making processes, or social activities, leading to feelings of isolation and marginalization within the workplace.
- Retaliation: Employees who report age discrimination or participate in investigations may face retaliation, such as demotions, disciplinary actions, or unjustified negative performance evaluations.
California Age Discrimination Laws
California age discrimination laws are designed to protect workers in the state from discriminatory practices based on age. These laws primarily fall under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which is a comprehensive piece of legislation prohibiting various forms of discrimination, including age discrimination, in the workplace. California's age discrimination laws provide strong protections for employees and job applicants, and they often go beyond the federal protections provided by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
Here are the key aspects of California's age discrimination laws:
- Applicability: California age discrimination laws protect individuals who are 40 years of age or older from discrimination based on their age. This means that employers in California cannot treat employees or job applicants unfavorably because of their age if they are 40 or older.
- Scope of Coverage: Unlike the ADEA, which applies to employers with 20 or more employees, California's age discrimination laws apply to employers with just 5 or more employees. This lower threshold means that smaller businesses are also subject to these laws, providing broader protection for workers.
- Prohibited Practices: California law prohibits a wide range of age-related discriminatory practices in employment, including those related to hiring, firing, promotions, job assignments, layoffs, compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
- Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ): Under California law, age can only be considered a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) in very limited circumstances where it is necessary for the job's performance. Employers must demonstrate that age is directly related to the job's requirements and that no reasonable alternative exists.
- Retaliation Protections: Employees who report age discrimination, participate in discrimination investigations, or exercise their rights under FEHA are protected from retaliation by their employers. This protection includes safeguarding employees from adverse employment actions such as demotions, terminations, or other forms of retaliation.
- Reasonable Accommodations: Employers in California may be required to provide reasonable accommodations to older employees to enable them to perform their job duties effectively. These accommodations may include modifications to workspaces, work hours, or job duties.
- Training and Education: Employers are encouraged to provide training and education to their employees to prevent age discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
- Filing Complaints: Employees who believe they have been subjected to age discrimination in violation of California law can file complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They may also choose to pursue legal action by filing a lawsuit.
- Damages and Remedies: If age discrimination is proven in court, remedies may include reinstatement, back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, and attorney's fees. Punitive damages may also be awarded in cases of particularly egregious conduct.
- Class Action Lawsuits: Age discrimination claims can be brought as class-action lawsuits when multiple employees have been subjected to similar discriminatory practices by an employer.
Let Our Firm Protect Your Rights, Career & Future
Our team of San Francisco age discrimination attorneys is ready to fight for your rights and hold employers accountable for their discriminatory actions. With our extensive experience and commitment to justice, we are your trusted partner in seeking resolution and compensation for age discrimination cases in California.