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While explicitly prohibited by US federal law and California state law, age discrimination remains a pervasive problem in many workplaces in Los Angeles. Employees who are 40 years and above in age may experience workplace discrimination in a variety of ways. Their job applications could get overlooked, even if they are well-qualified. If already employed, they could be treated differently due to their age. They could be sidelined from work projects, training programs, promotions, and pay hikes that they are entitled to. They might be pressurized into retiring to make way for younger, less paid workers.
Age discrimination can have a devastating effect on your financial security and it can be stressful and emotionally draining too. So, if you suspect age discrimination in your workplace, you need to take proactive steps to counter it. Begin by approaching your employer to discuss the situation and ask them to take appropriate measures to end the discrimination. If that doesn’t work, you may need to consult a reputable age discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles. Depending on the specific details of your case, you may be able to take appropriate action against your employer.
Why should you consult a labor lawyer?
The employment law in California is complicated and constantly evolving. Additionally, winning an age discrimination case is not an easy matter, especially since California, like other U.S. states, has an “at-will” employment policy. As per this, employers can fire their employees for any reason as long as the firing doesn’t contravene existing labor policies or work contract stipulations.
So, before you sue your employer, you need to be sure that you have a valid case. And if you are not familiar with employment-related legalities, getting competent legal counsel from an experienced lawyer is essential. Since they specialize in labor law, the lawyer will know how the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the state California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) will apply in your case.
The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, state and local government bodies, federal government bodies, labor organizations with 25 or more members, and employment agencies. It protects older employees from age-related discrimination in the workplace and prohibits employers from:
• Stating in their job advertisement that they prefer to hire only people in a specific age range.
• Asking job applicants to provide their date of birth.
• Providing training programs only to people of specific ages.
• Taking retaliatory action against employees for filing age discrimination complaints.
• Denying employees the opportunity to participate in employer benefit plans or reducing benefits based on age.
Article 10 of the FEHA is concerned with age discrimination and guarantees that older employees get employment opportunities that correspond with their qualifications, abilities, and experience. FEHA applies to employers with at least five employees.
The age discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles will also inform you that before suing your employer, you will need to file a discrimination charge within 180 days with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The EEOC will investigate the matter and persuade your employer to remedy the discrimination. If that doesn’t work, it will issue a right to sue letter. However, you don’t need to wait for this letter. You can file a case in federal court after 60 days and up to 90 days after filing with the EEOC.
How do you hire a labor lawyer?
To hire an age discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles, do the following:
• Search for local labor lawyers through the National Employment Lawyers Association and visit their websites. Read the information provided on the website and find out if they have handled cases similar to yours. Read client testimonials and what people are saying about them on social media and other online places. Make sure that there have been no instances or accusations of malpractice or incompetency.
• Inquire if the labor lawyer offers a free initial consultation or charges an hourly or flat fee for it. Also, inquire about their case-handling fees and payment structure. Legal cases can take time to resolve, so find out from the onset what the entire process will cost you.
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