Sacramento Age Discrimination Lawyer
Age discrimination is more common than we think. Being perceived as “old” is not a good thing in the workplace. Older Americans may experience unemployment, their numbers reduced in wave after wave of downsizing, as merciless employers focus on reducing labor costs and increasing profits. Older workers often make more money because they have been working longer and been rewarded with raises more times than younger workers. Older workers may also be likely to miss more time at work than younger counterparts, sometimes for health reasons and sometimes simply because their longevity has earned them greater vacation rights. In business fields at the cutting edge of technology, older workers may be viewed as less willing or able to learn. And, as the people in charge get ever-younger, older workers may simply make the young boss uncomfortable.
For whatever the reason, the deck seems increasingly stacked against older workers. Older workers are less able to find work and typically remain unemployed longer, for many of the same reasons that they ended up unemployed in the first place.
State and Federal Laws Protect Older Workers
Both California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibit discrimination against employees over the age of 40. For several reasons, including broader coverage of employers and a recent US Supreme Court decision that made age discrimination cases harder to prove, the California law is often the first choice for experienced California age discrimination lawyers.
California law (FEHA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of age. An employer can’t single you out in any way because of your age: no termination, demotion, denial of promotions, or other detrimental action.
California law offers the full range of damages and other remedies available to remedy cases of employment discrimination. In addition to lost past and future pay, victims of age discrimination can recover for emotional distress and attorney fees.
Emotional distress damages are often significant for older workers who may have lost jobs they held for decades, with little prospect of obtaining other employment which provides anywhere near what they lost in terms of pay, prestige, or satisfaction.
Proving Age Discrimination
Age discrimination cases are particularly tricky, largely because it is so difficult to establish that age was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision. While your instincts may tell you that your age was a major factor, the employer inevitably justifies their action on some other ground. That means that your attorney needs to identify, locate, and obtain enough circumstantial evidence to establish the probability that age really was involved in the decision.
Evidence that may be useful in establishing age discrimination in layoffs, a major issue in these times, includes:
- Comparing the age and years of experience of terminated workers with those of retained workers, in cases of large layoffs
- Comparisons of performance evaluations of the older terminated workers with those of both younger retained workers and any younger workers who were also laid off
- Comparison of the age and experience profiles of the group of laid off workers with that of the retained workers
Sometimes the proof is fairly obvious to a “reasonable person,” as in a recent case of layoffs from a science laboratory in which a company terminated a worker with more than 30 years’ experience at the lab, while a coworker with barely over a year’s experience was retained. Many times, it takes a meticulous, experienced team of attorneys and statistical experts to accumulate enough evidence to win the case.
Help for Victims of Age Discrimination
Evidence to show age discrimination is usually crucial to success. The sooner you get the case to an experienced age discrimination attorney, the easier it will be to identify and preserve the necessary evidence.
Labor Law Office, APC of Sacramento understands how businesses work and how the “human resources” function actually performs.