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Can I Be Fired For Being Too Old In California?

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

What You Need To Know About Age-Motivated Wrongful Termination In California

In punishing work cultures, older employees are often made to feel like they're not productive enough. Conversely, younger employees are perceived to be better at handling more work, have fewer family responsibilities, and are far much healthier than their over-40 counterparts.

That said, California employment law deters shady employers who favor their younger employees over older ones. In addition, it protects employees over 40 from discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination in California.

Can You Be Fired Based On Age In California?

No. Employers are not permitted to carry out this practice because of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). Most jobs don't have an age restriction, but some do. In California, discrimination based on age is prohibited for those who are 40 years of age or older.

Employers with 20 or more employees are not permitted to discriminate against older workers, according to ADEA.

What Is Employment Discrimination In California Law?

An employee's age is considered a protected attribute. So, for example, if you are over 40, your boss cannot make employment decisions that discriminate against your protected attribute in California.

This also applies to other protected attributes like gender, race, national origin, marital status, etc. If you suffered workplace discrimination of any kind, contact a prescreened California employment lawyer to assist you.

What Are Examples Of Age Discrimination In California?

Age-based discrimination in California frequently manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Firing an employee for being over 40

  • Deciding against hiring a candidate due to their age

  • Letting an employee go due to their age

  • A worker was demoted due to their age

  • Age restrictions are mentioned in job postings

  • Corporate policies that have a discriminatory effect, such as not hiring applicants with more than 15 years of experience

  • Reducing a person's compensation due to their advanced age

  • Refusing to provide applicants with benefits (such as a 401k or health insurance) because of their age

That said, discrimination in the workplace isn't limited to these examples. Discrimination and harassment can happen in several ways, after all.

If you're unsure whether your case falls unde

r employment discrimination laws in California, consult with a Los Angeles employment law attorney ASAP. They'll know what to do and can help you build a strong claim.

Do I Have An Age-Discrimination Wrongful Termination Claim In California?

As mentioned, employees cannot be fired for their age and other protected attributes. However, if an employer does, an aggrieved employee can report it and contact a California wrongful termination lawyer to help them.

That said, no employer will admit to firing you for discriminatory reasons. There are repercussions, after all. When this happens, you and your labor law attorney in Los Angeles should work to find evidence to prove your claim.

The evidence you might need includes the following:

  • Employment documents, like contracts, pay slips, records, etc.

  • Communications, like emails, chat messages, texts, etc.

  • Witness testimonies

Your California wrongful termination lawyer can help you gather evidence, request your documents, meet deadlines, and represent you in court.

As a civil suit, you can claim damages for the losses you've incurred because of the wrongful termination in California. You can be awarded any of the following damages:

  • Economic damages, like lost income and benefits

  • Non-economic damages, such as emotional distress and pain-and-suffering

  • Punitive damages, additional fine to deter the employer and others from doing the same thing again

If you have a strong case, you and your Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer might compel your employer into an out-of-court settlement. A settlement could mean this would be over much quicker than it would if things were taken to a judge.

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