What to Do If You Faced Age Discrimination at Work
Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees. This means that employers must only focus on qualifications and ability to perform the essential job functions when considering future and current employment, and ignore qualities about a person which may be inherent to their personhood: They are people and deserve to be treated as such. Unfortunately, some employers still act on antiquated and unethical prejudices, and it influences their behavior and decision-making when it comes to matters of business.
Employers sometimes discriminate against a person’s race, ethnicity, religion, sex, and even age. Age discrimination is against both California and federal law and may give employees the right to file a lawsuit against their employer if they can prove that their employer’s actions were based solely on their age, and not their qualifications or performance. The law protects older employees over the age of 40 from age-based discrimination and prohibits action against things like hiring, dismissing, pay, promotion, bonus plan, training, job assignments, benefits, and any other terms of the job.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your age, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. But getting from discrimination to having the ability to slap a lawsuit on your employer’s desk requires that you understand the process necessary to do so. We at the California Employment Attorneys Group help people like you every day and answer questions regarding age discrimination and the process to properly file a lawsuit against employers. Examples of such questions include:
- What should I do if I have been a victim of age discrimination at work?
- What steps to take if you are being discriminated against at the workplace because of your age?
- Can I sue my employer if he discriminates against me because of my age?
- What do I do if my boss discriminates against me because of my age?
What to Do If You Believe You Are a Victim of Age Discrimination
If you are a victim of age discrimination, one of the first things you need to do is to talk to an employment attorney so they can evaluate the merits of your claim and determine if you have a case or not. They can give you their initial thoughts and what you need to do under the law in order for your claim to have legitimacy under the law. After you speak to your lawyer, you should file a claim internally, with your human resources representative and with one of two government agencies.
Filing a claim internally: If you are a victim of age discrimination at your workplace, you should bring it up to Human Resources (HR):
- Formally make your complaint in writing, and explicitly state the kind of discrimination which you have experienced or are experiencing, the dates in which the discrimination occurred, and as much specific information as you can write.
- Be clear, concise, and to the point in your written complaint.
- Create a personal record of any and all communications with HR.
- Send an email after every meeting to your HR rep. to confirm the conversation that took place and the points about which you talked
- Consult with an employment attorney to discuss any further action.
Filing a claim externally: Additionally, in order to file a lawsuit against your employer, you must file a charge with one of two government agencies at either the federal or state levels.
The federal agency is called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and ensures that employers across the nation do not infringe upon the rights of hard-working Americans. You have 180 calendar days to file a charge with the EEOC. The state of California’s employment agency is the Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) and protects against age discrimination as well. Since age discrimination is covered by both state and federal law, the deadline to file a claim for age discrimination extends to 300 days.
The EEOC and the DFEH have a work-sharing agreement, so when you file a charge with one agency a duplicate copy is made in the other agency – this process is called dual filing and serves to protect your rights under both state and federal laws.
Once the agency determines that you suffered discrimination, you can request the “right-to-sue” letter, which gives you the right to move forward with your lawsuit against your employer. It is recommended you only request this letter once you are ready to go to court as you only have 90 days from the day you receive the letter to take action.
Free Consultation and Zero Fee Guarantee
The California Employment Attorneys Group offers free consultations and the zero-fee guarantee. If you believe you have a case, you can contact our law firm and our attorneys will be happy to review your case free of charge and offer you the legal advice that you need. We work only on contingency. This means there are never any upfront fees with our service. If we take your case, we will not charge anything unless and until we get you money.