Los Angeles Age Discrimination Attorney
With the advent of technology, many people are worried that their jobs will be replaced by robots. While these fears may be overstated, it’s common for employers to displace the older workforce for younger, cheaper counterparts. This conduct, if proved, is illegal and you could be entitled to damages if you are a victim of Age Discrimination.
What is Age Discrimination in the Workplace?
Age discrimination is when your employer treats you less favorably or takes some other adverse employment action against you due to your age. Almost every state has enacted some law that protects employees from age discrimination on top of the federal law in place.
What Are My Age Discrimination Rights Under Federal and California Law?
Under federal law, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects applicants aged 40 and over from discrimination in all aspects of employment.
The ADEA does NOT apply to:
- Employers with less than 20 employees
- Independent contractors
- Elected officials
- Military personnel
The ADEA does apply to:
- Employers with at least 20 employees
- Employment agencies
- The federal government
- State and local government (though remedies are often limited)
- Labor organizations with at least 25 members
Under the ADEA, it is unlawful for employers to fail or refuse to hire, to discharge, or to otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of that person’s age. Further, it is also unlawful for an employer to harass an employee on the basis of their age. For example, if an employer repeatedly and pervasively makes offensive and derogatory comments about an employee’s age in order to get him or her to quit, then Age Discrimination is likely to have occurred.
Similar to federal law, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) affords some of the same protections as the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. However, FEHA affords stronger protection to employees because employers with a minimum of 5 employees are covered under FEHA, whereas under the ADEA, only employers with a minimum of 20 employees are covered.
How Do I Prove My Age Discrimination Case?
- Create a written record documenting anything that may suggest Age Discrimination, such as comments or conduct by your boss.
- Immediately consult an attorney after you have faced termination or other adverse employment action because there is a statute of limitation that may bar your recovery.
- Gather up all your performance and personnel records. Often times your employer will try to blame your demotion or termination on bad behavior or performance.
- Print all e-mails and correspondence that may suggest Age Discrimination.
- Try to make a note of the ages of the people who were not laid off.
What Are Some Examples of Age Discrimination Lawsuits?
- $51,000,000: An employee was fired from Lockheed Martin at the age of 66 after 17 years of hard work. The employee was not given any reason for his termination and over time he noticed that older employees were routinely given lower performance reviews than their younger counterparts. Subsequently, after the trial concluded, the jury awarded the employee over $51,000,000 in damages. See Braden v. Lockheed Martin.
- $26,000,000: A 66-year-old man was discriminated against and harassed based upon his age by his supervising managers at Staples. For example, his mangers schemed to discharge older, higher paid employees and he was often the but of the joke when his co-workers would refer to him as the “old goat” and “old coot.” When his managers pressured him into resigning, he refused. He was later fired because he took a bell-pepper worth 68 cents from the company cafeteria, which was nothing more than a pretext to Age Discrimination. The jury later awarded the plaintiff in this case $26,000,000. See Nickel v. Staples Contract and Commercial Inc., et al.
- $12,000,000: Texas Roadhouse, a national restaurant chain, was sued because of a nationwide practice of age discrimination. The EEOC claimed in the suit that the chain denied front-of-the-house positions — servers, hosts, server assistants and bartenders — to applicants 40 years and older. The case went to trial but ended in a mistrial; however, before the retrial of the case, the parties settled for $12,000,000 as part of a consent decree. See EEOC v. Texas Roadhouse Inc.
- $6,200,000: During a reduction in workforce, an employer laid off 8 employees out of the 56 in the department. Coincidentally, while only 17 of the 56 employees in that department were 55 or older, all eight laid-off employees were at least 55. Moreover, the average age of retained employees was 45, while the average age of terminated employees was 62. The jury understood the plaintiff’s plight and justifiably rewarded the victims over $6,200,000 in damages. See Marcus v. PQ Corp.
- $4,500,000: An employee worked for a hospital for nearly 40 years before being fired. After taking medical leave to treat breast cancer, the employee began working on a part time basis. His supervisors asked him to retire because they needed a full-time worker, though his doctors said he would be fully recovered by the end of the year. The employee eventually fully healed only to find out that he was replaced by someone much younger. The jury awarded the plaintiff over $4,500,000.
- $3,000,000: 3M, the company famous for its Post-It-Notes, was sued for age discrimination due to certain policies within the company. 3M terminated many older, more compensated employees in a ploy to develop “30 year-olds with management potential” as well as in an effort to cut costs. They led a concerted effort train younger employees while leaving older ones out of the loop. Further emails showed a company culture that placed youthful employees above seasoned veterans on the totem pole. For example, one memo stated that then CEO Jim McNerney wanted to “tap into the youth as participants in the leadership development.” The case eventually settled for $3,000,000 with the proceeds going to the 290 class members. See EEOC v. 3M Co.
- $130,000: In another case, a GE subsidiary gave an employee lower performance ratings, despite his successful job performance, because of his age at 61. It was also alleged that the company failed to assign the employee to a higher level position but instead awarded the position, which had greater salary potential, to a younger, less qualified employee. He was also subjected to unfair and heightened job scrutiny, given him poor performance ratings, and refused to promote him based on his age and in retaliation for his internal complaints about discrimination. He was later awarded $130,000 in a settlement. See EEOC v. MRA System Inc.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Discriminated Against Because of My Age?
Age Discrimination cases are very tricky as there is rarely a “smoking gun” that definitively proves that it occurred. It is important to have representation to navigate your way through age discrimination laws. Proving age discrimination is no easy feat as employers rarely explicitly say that the reasons for the decisions they make are based on the employee’s age. Therefore, the proof needed to win an Age Discrimination case is usually circumstantial at best. However, there are some things employers can do proactively to assist their lawyer in proving that they were discriminated against based on your age.
HAVING AN ATTORNEY BY YOUR SIDE GREATLY INCREASES THE CHANCE FOR RECOVERY.
Talk to a Los Angeles Age Discrimination Lawyer today. We offer free consultations and you pay nothing unless we win.
The lawyers at Miracle Mile Law Group are specially trained in handling age discrimination lawsuits. If you believe you have been or currently are a victim of discrimination based on your age, contact a Los Angeles race discrimination lawyer today. Having a lawyer by your side when trying to prove that you have been discriminated against is essential. The lawyers here at Miracle Mile Law Group are trained at identifying what to look for when going up against your employer. These cases are very time sensitive so give us a call at (888) 244-0706 or contact us online for a FREE case evaluation. Remember, we do not take a single dollar unless WE WIN!
Miracle Mile Law Group
3460 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1210
Los Angeles CA 90010
Tel: (888) 244-0706