It’s becoming more well known by the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that technology companies, in particular, have problems with age discrimination. CEOs, hiring managers and employees in the tech industry tend to be young and think older generations lack “tech-savvy” skills.
Assumptions like this negatively impact certain decisions concerning hiring, fair wages and promotions. In some workplaces, this mindset even leads to bullying. All this unfair treatment constitutes forms of age discrimination.
What is age discrimination?
The EEOC defines age discrimination as mistreatment of applicants or employees due to their age. The organization enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) that states that it “forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.” It also includes that some states may decide to protect individuals even younger than 40.
Is age a protected class in California?
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (FEHA) supports the standard set by the EEOC for age discrimination. Applicants and employees 40 and older are protected. FEHA prohibits harassment or discrimination in any workplace against specified categories of individuals, including older people.
What constitutes age discrimination?
In general, discrimination refers to being treated less favorably than other employees due to specific attributes. Age discrimination may occur when an employer, because an intern, volunteer, contractor, applicant or employee is 40 or older:
- Refuses to hire
- Refuses to accommodate
- Allows age-related harassment to occur
- Withholds wages
- Terminates employment
- Terminates employment
- Creates a policy that directly and negatively affects employees of a certain age
These are some common forms of age discrimination, but it’s not an exhaustive list. Determining whether a particular instance constitutes age discrimination is complicated. To be sure, it’s worth consulting with an employment law attorney to see if you may have a case.
How can I prove that I’ve been a victim of age discrimination in California?
Wronged employees need to prove discrimination with circumstantial evidence, direct evidence, or pattern and practice. Doing so will depend on the type of unfair treatment you’ve endured and the kind of evidence you have.
If you think you’ve been a victim of age discrimination, don’t stand by. Unfair workplaces won’t stop mistreating employees until they’re held accountable. Seek help from an employment lawyer to understand your situation better and find the proof you need against your employer.