4 Signs of Age Discrimination at Work

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: May 27, 2021

All employers should be treated fairly at work – regardless of age.

In Los Angeles and throughout California, employees are protected against age discrimination by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Although both laws apply to employers in California, they differ in the scope of protection they provide.

FEHA applies to employers with at least five (5) employees. On the other hand, ADEA only applies to employers with twenty (20) or more employees. Additionally, the law protects job applicants and employees age 40 and older.

Even with these anti-discriminatory laws in place, some employers still discriminate against more senior workers. At work, some acts of age discrimination are easy to recognize. Other times, the actions are more subtle. Below are some signs and examples of age discrimination in the workplace you should be aware of:

Preferential Treatment

Under California state law, it’s illegal to discriminate against a person at work based on their age. If you suspect age discrimination based on how younger employees are treated, take careful notes. There could be a pattern of older, yet qualified employees getting passed over for promotions, getting fired, or not getting hired compared to younger employees.

For example, a qualified employee who just turned 41 years old gets passed over for a promotion. Subsequently, the employee finds out that a much younger employee received the promotion but has similar qualifications and background. In this case, the 41-year-old employee might be a victim of age discrimination.

Keep notes of the employees getting laid off or replaced with younger workers. Sometimes employers prefer to hire younger employees because they can pay them a lesser salary.

Age-Related Comments 

Comments such as “grandpa” or “grandma” when referred to more senior workers are signs that these workers are not respected. Additionally, “boomer”, is a slang term used to describe a person born between 1946 and 1964. This term is often used in a negative context to mock attitudes associated with people born within those years.

Keep track of the individuals who make these types of ageist comments and the context.

Job Reassignment to Undesirable Duties  

When an employer reassigns you to a less desirable job or gives you fewer desirable duties, it could be a sign they are trying to replace you. If the individual who replaced you is younger, it could be a sign of age discrimination. 

Unfair Negative Performance Reviews 

Many employers use performance reviews to determine productivity. However, if you’re a top performer and suddenly start receiving unfair negative performance reviews, it could be a sign your company wants to get rid of you based on your age.

Contact an Age Discrimination Attorney Today

Age discrimination is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against at work based on your age, you have the right to file a legal claim against the parties at fault. Our Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers have over two decades of experience fighting for employee rights and we can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your potential case.