Discrimination in the workplace takes many forms. It can happen to anyone based on various traits that are not related to the individual’s job duties or ability to complete responsibilities. There are numerous acts and laws that have been passed to prevent discrimination; for example, racial and sex discrimination in the workplace were outlawed with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, you may have been on the receiving end of discrimination because of your age. Age discrimination in the workplace is not uncommon; it can happen to workers regardless of age, but the most notable form is against those who are older. If you feel that you have been victimized because of your age and have suffered prejudice in the workplace because of it, contact our legal group, the Employee Justice Legal Team, for more help. Our attorneys who have experience in age discrimination lawsuits will help you get started on a claim against your employer.
Preventing Age Discrimination in the Workplace
The laws that were introduced to prevent age discrimination in the workplace came about on the heels of the Civil Rights Act. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was signed with the intention of preventing individuals over the age of 40 from being discriminated against by employers. This meant that the usual practices f giving preferential treatment to younger workers was now illegal. Beforehand, younger workers were viewed as better employees because of their relative lack of needs; they may not require as much life insurance, for instance, and they do not have to worry as much about their health or other expenses. Older workers who had families and understood their needs were turned away because of the additional financial burden it would be on the company.
Older workers were also discriminated against because of the boom of technology. Those who were used to a certain method of production were eventually phased out, while those who could not adapt were terminated. The sudden loss of jobs meant that profits would increase for companies, but the overall state of society would drop. The government, thus, stepped in during the middle of the 1960s to outlaw age discrimination.
Examples of Age Discrimination
As per the law introduced in 1967, you may not be unfairly discriminated against with respect to hiring, firing, completing job duties, and more. For example, if you are applying to a job and it lists age as a requirement, this would be a form of discrimination. Further, if you were rejected from a job because of your age, you would be able to claim prejudice. You may not be given less hours to work or suffer a reduced pay rate because of your age, nor may you be passed over for promotions or given fewer benefits. Age can directly affect the motives behind all of these decisions, and employers often get away with discrimination because they do not outright state their reasoning.
You may also not be fired or forced to retire because of how old you are. This would constitute wrongful termination. If your employer deems that it is time for you to be released, however, there may not be much you can do about it, as California is a state with at-will employment, meaning your employer can fire you for any reason at any time. If you were terminated from your position, you should evaluate who took your post after you left and if any other individuals similarly aged to you were also fired. Although your employer may state that you were not performing up to the standards the company required, you could use the circumstances as evidence for age discrimination.
There is also the presence of workplace harassment. You may be the victim of harassment if you are targeted for being older or having certain experience. Older workers may not be a part of the same generation that the majority of employees that work at the company are, and as a result, some coworkers may participate in harassment. They can be verbally abusive or sabotage the workspace you sit at. There may be offensive remarks written on whiteboards or cruel jokes spread around the office. If you are repeatedly insulted or blamed for problems, or if you find that your work performance is suffering because of the toxic actions of another coworker, you should consider finding a lawyer with experience in age discrimination cases.
Documenting Job Age Discrimination
If you are the victim of age discrimination at your job, you should make sure that you take necessary steps to document it. If you do not have proper proof, you will not be able to pursue any claims whatsoever.
Firstly, you should approach the person responsible for the discrimination, whether it is a manager or a coworker. A request to stop the prejudice can go over better than you think; sometimes, being confronted is enough to cause the person to stop acting with bias.
If that does not work, you should photograph, video, or record audio of the discrimination as it occurred. If you are repeatedly harassed throughout the day, keep track of the prejudice in the form of notes or journal entries.
Any instances of promotions or benefits given to younger workers that you did not receive can be noted as well. You will be able to use these situations as evidence that some discrepancy occurred.
You should approach your Human Resources Department to file a complaint. The representatives there will be able to help you take action against your employer, as the department is meant to assist in matters like this. However, many representatives will try to do what is best for the company. If the person committing the discriminatory acts is a necessary manager, for example, there may be no punishment doled out whatsoever, or you may be on the receiving end of some kind of negative action, such as temporary paid leave or retaliation (which is also illegal).
If your Human Resources Department does not do enough to help you, contact the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to file a complaint and get in touch with a workplace age discrimination lawyer in San Diego.
Statute of Limitations
One of the most crucial aspects of talking with a San Diego age discrimination lawyer is learning more about the statute of limitations. You do not have a lot of time to file an age discrimination claim against a company. You only have 180 days from the date of the discrimination, or 300 days if the prejudice is also outlawed under state or local law. On the other hand, if the entity is government related, you only have 45 days to take legal action. As soon as you have been discriminated against, it is in your best interest to consult with an age discrimination attorney in San Diego. You should not have to worry about your claim being thrown out because it was not within the allotted time.
Earnings from a Lawsuit
With the help of our employment age discrimination lawyers, you can earn various types of compensation for your damages. Your missed wages, for instance, can be reimbursed if you were forced to take temporary leave, if your hours were cut, if you did not receive proper commission, or if you were fired without receiving your last paycheck, you could be compensated. In instances of wrongful termination, you may even be able to be reinstated into your old position.
There are also pain and suffering damages available in age discrimination lawsuits. The emotional trauma that you suffer could yield various damages. Your psychological stress, fear, anxiety, PTSD, and more can all be covered under these damages.
Punitive damages also have the availability to be handed out. These are additional forms of monetary compensation that are meant too punish the defendant and dissuade him from committing the actions again or to someone else. Many juries and courts view these damages as unnecessary or excessive, however, and as a result, only experienced lawyers will be able to win them.
Let Us Help
Our law firm, the Employee Justice Legal Team, is here to assist employees who have suffered age discrimination at the workplace. We know how hard it can be to overcome discrimination, and there should be proper punishment for those who commit the acts. You should be compensated for all of your damages, and more importantly, your workplace should have a peaceful and non-hostile atmosphere to it. We have a goal to positively change all job environments when presented with discrimination lawsuits.
Call us today to schedule a free legal consultation with a skilled lawyer. All of our consultations are completely confidential; none of your private information will leave our office doors. In the discussion, we will tell you what we believe your case is worth and give you any necessary details you need to make a decision regarding legal action. If you select us to take on your claim, we will give you a zero fee guarantee that promises that you will not pay us any out of pocket expenses. We will only get paid if we win your case, and your employer will foot the bill – our fees will be taken from the settlement we earn for you. If we lose, you do not owe us any money at all. You should not be expected to pay for legal help if your livelihood has been threatened due to discrimination at work.
For more help dealing with age discrimination at the workplace, call our San Diego law firm immediately.