How Can Age Discrimination Affect Employment?

Updated: Jan 27

A Quick Guide To Age Discrimination In California

In the workplace, older people usually bring more experience, expertise, and competency. However, some firms discriminate against older job searchers and employees based on their age. In addition, they sometimes make discriminatory and illegal judgments that unfairly penalize older workers, based on the incorrect belief that more senior employees have higher medical bills or may not stay in the company for the long term.


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Any action by an employer that exploits your physical age or years of experience against you is considered age discrimination. This can happen when you're seeking a job or when you're already working. This is unlawful in most circumstances. However, there are a few exceptions that we'll go through later.

A Los Angeles Employment Lawyer could assist you if you were fired or demoted because of your age. Both California law and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act make most forms of age discrimination illegal (ADEA).

Because age discrimination is difficult to show directly, courts frequently rely on circumstantial evidence to find it by examining all of the facts and comparing what occurred to you with what happened to younger workers.

Employers frequently excuse illegal activities on non-age-related issues such as business downsizing, personnel reductions, or reorganization. You may notice age discrimination if your employer takes adverse employment action against you because of your age, especially when compared to similarly situated but younger employees are handled differently and more positively.


Here are a few examples:

  1. Wrongful termination

  2. Demotion

  3. Barring a well-deserved promotion

  4. Unjustified negative reviews or performance scores

  5. Unjustified suspension

  6. Other retaliatory acts

If your boss has recently made comments about your age or has made employment decisions based solely on that, then you should consider contacting a California Employment Attorney to help you fight for your rights.

Age Discrimination Laws at the Federal and State Level

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or potential employees based on their age under many federal and state regulations.


The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was enacted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to prevent age discrimination in the workplace.

Age discrimination begins at the age of 40 for federal purposes, but it may begin much earlier in real-life settings across the United States.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), more than 60% of all workers over the age of 45 had either been the victim of or witnessed workplace age discrimination.


That said, this should give you an idea of which agencies you should approach when you're ready to file a claim. To make it easier for you, you should contact a California Employment Attorney to help you through the lengthy process.

Employers Covered By Age Discrimination Laws In California


You must first work for an employer covered by the ADEA in order to prove your age discrimination case. Private employers with 20 or more employees that engage in interstate commerce are subject to the ADEA. In addition, the ADEA will apply to government employers.

If an employer matches these conditions and refuses to hire you, treats you differently in terms of compensation, employee benefits, or other employment issues, or terminates your employment because of your age, you'll have a strong case for age discrimination.


If you experienced discrimination in the workplace, consider checking if your employer qualifies for the requirements stated above. If it's unclear, consult with a California Employment Attorney to help you sort out the specifics of your case.

What Is Considered Age Discrimination?