• JC Serrano

How Do I Prove Age Discrimination in California?

Updated: Jul 3

2021 Guide On Age Discrimination At Work And How To Report It. A great employment lawyer can make a difference.


Age discrimination in the workplace is illegal in the state of California under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and under the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). California employees forty years of age and older are protected by age discrimination laws.



Age discrimination in the workplace is very common, however, sometimes is difficult to prove. You should request an unbiased referral to a pre-screened California employment lawyer for a FREE case analysis. This post will explain what constitutes age discrimination in the workplace, your rights and how to report it.

Lay-offs owing to discrimination based on age are frequently unnoticed.

The act protects employees over the age of 40 in California against age discrimination. On the other hand, high-wage earners are not a safe group. It is simple for a business to label an age-related termination as a financial "lay-off" because workers beyond the age of 40 are often the most experienced and hence paid more.


Despite the fact that baby boomers make up a considerable share of the contemporary workforce, several industries and businesses have median employee ages that are far younger. Is it all a coincidence? Is it possible that elderly employees are being harassed in a quiet, unnoticeable way?


Definition Of Age Discrimination in the Workplace


In the state of California is not illegal to discriminate against someone because he or she is too young for the job.


If the same employer denies a job opportunity, a promotion or a special project because he or she believes someone is too old, they are breaking the law.


The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits employers from discriminating against anyone if the employee is over 40 years of age. Proof of employment discrimination in the workplace is when you can show that the employee:

  • Belongs to a protected class (over 40 years of age)

  • Has been the subject to adverse employment action such as a demotion, termination or suspension

  • Can prove that other employees outside the protected class were treated more favorably under the same circumstances.

If you are an employee who's 40 years of age (or older) and have been wrongfully terminated, demoted, or harassed at work due to your age, you must immediately report it.


Employers may not advertise job openings with age preferences, restrictions, or requirements, and they may not inquire about an applicant's age or date of birth during a job interview.


Examples Of Age Discrimination In The Workplace


If you are 40 years of age or older and have been a victim of wrongful termination, demotion or have been harassed at work because of your age, you must report these actions immediately as they may constitute employment discrimination.

Under the Federal Age Discrimination Act and California Fair Employment Housing Act, individuals have the right to sue an employer for age discrimination and be compensated for damages including lost wages, benefits and emotional distress.

According to most Los Angeles Employment Lawyers we've interviewed, some examples of age discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Not being offered a job because the employer wanted a younger person to fill the vacancy.

  • Being fired because the employer wants to keep a younger staff.

  • Being turned down for a promotion because the employer wanted someone younger looking.

  • Harassment, name calling or making fun of your age.

  • Company layoffs where only older employees were let go

  • Receiving a negative job evaluation because the employer assumes you're too old for the job.

If any of these examples apply to you, you must seek for an experienced California age discrimination lawyer to assess the circumstances surrounding your claim. Hiring a good Los Angeles Employment Lawyer is essential to the outcome of your claim. Make sure the employment lawyer has the experience he or she claims to have and that they are not under any type of investigation by the California State Bar.

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Under the ADEA and FEHA, it is against the law to discriminate against an employee because of his or her age with respect to any term, condition or privilege of employment, including, but not limited to hiring, firing, promotion, layoffs, compensation, job assignments, training and employment benefits.

Employers are not permitted to include age preferences, limitations or specifications in job postings and are not allowed to ask an applicant’s age or date of birth in certain during a job interview.

What Kinds of Evidence Do I Need to Prove Age Discrimination?

As the one making a claim, the burden of proof is on you and your L.A. Labor Lawyer.

  • Take photos and record videos. If you have reason to believe you are being discriminated against or retaliated against, start to pay attention. Be careful when recording or taking photos of people without their consent, as it might make things work.

  • Note: You don't have to take photos of people. You can document vandalisms, mistreatments, intimidating letters written by coworkers, etc.

  • Electronic trail. Your work emails, chat rooms, and SMS messages could all be evidence of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Keep any emails or conversations in which your boss or H.R. suggests you're being fired for illegal reasons.

  • Employee documents and records. This includes pay stubs, time cards, and written notices. These documents could be used as evidence that your employer is retaliating against you (i.e., demotions, suspensions, and pay cuts). If you've recently filed a Labor Law Claim with an agency, these are extremely important to monitor.

While there is a lot of evidence you may acquire on your own, you may still run into problems if your workplace is already hostile or if you've been wrongfully terminated as a result of the discrimination.

Hiring a California Employment Law Attorney can assist you in doing a more thorough investigation into your issue.

How Much Can I Get For A Successful Age Discrimination Claim?

When submitting a claim for damages, your California Employment Law Attorney will assist you in estimating all damages, including non-economic ones.


The following factors are commonly considered when assessing the cost of a claim:

  • You Have Lost Wages. From the moment of termination, suspension, and demotion, the employee has lost all of their pay. Furthermore, if the employee was wrongfully terminated and was unable to secure new work through trial or settlement, future wage loss may be considered in some cases.

  • You Have Lost Benefits. Loss of benefits is also taken into account when calculating lost wages. Employers may be held accountable for out-of-pocket payments if a terminated employee is forced to pay for insurance coverage after being fired, for example.

  • Emotional Distress Damages. The cost of emotional anguish resulting from harassment, discrimination, and retaliation might be considered part of the settlement. When the claimed behaviors were exceptionally heinous, such as charges of harassment or discrimination, recovery for emotional distress damages is most likely.

Filing a claim for Employment Discrimination in California means that there were provable damages on your person. Therefore, your compensations are awarded to reimburse the losses you incurred because of the unlawful discrimination.

What If My Boss Tries To Get Back At Me For Filing A Claim?

In California, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for protected acts. Therefore, your employer cannot fire you or discriminate against you if you are engaging in the following legal practices:

  • You've filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

  • You agreed to give a witness testimony or respond to investigators on an ongoing employment claim.

  • You've been notifying your manager about workplace discrimination and mistreatment.

  • You refused to accept instructions that would lead to criminal behavior.

  • You turned down unwanted approaches or stood up to bullies to protect a coworker.

  • You asked for a reasonable accommodation because of a disability or to participate in religious activity.

  • You inquired about salary details from managers or peers to expose pay inequalities.

It's important to note that participating in the complaint process is protected from workplace harassment and retribution in all circumstances.


What If I Was Fired Because Of Age Discrimination?

Because California Employers are prohibited from making employment decisions (i.e., hiring, firing, promotion, demotion, etc.) based on unlawful means.

Wrongful Termination in California can occur in two ways:

  1. As a retaliatory act. If you were fired after filing an Age Discrimination claim, it is considered both Retaliation and Wrongful Termination.

  2. As a discriminatory act. If you were fired because of being a certain age, then it is considered an act of Wrongful Termination.

You should contact a Los Angeles Labor Lawyer to decide on the details of your Employment Claims. Your pre-screened California Lawyer would be able to offer you legal options that might maximize the damages you can get out of a claim.


I Wasn't Fired, But I Was In A Hostile Work Environment.

In some cases, the poor treatment of an employee becomes so bad that it pushes them to resign or leave their job. This is considered as "Constructive Discharge".

The main element of constructive discharge is that your boss tolerated or encouraged a work environment so hostile that a reasonable person would not have been able to stay.

To prove a hostile work environment, you should be able to prove that the situation you were in was so toxic that it affected your capacity to do work.

Example factors or elements of a hostile work environment can include the following:

  1. You're facing bullying, harassment, and discrimination from co-workers and supervisors. If you reported the mistreatment and it was ignored by your boss or HR, they might be actively contributing to the hostility.

  2. You are constantly berated, scolded, or criticized as a way to demean or offend you.

  3. You were assigned to a store or office location that's unnecessarily inconvenient to your current living situation.

A hostile work environment can be very taxing on a targeted employee. The mistreatment itself could either be an act of discrimination or retaliation. Either way, it can be seen as an unlawful act that can be taken into account of your Labor Law Claim.


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Filing An Age Discrimination Claim In California


A California employment lawyer with experience in age discrimination lawsuits can successfully gather and present the necessary evidence to proof your case.

If you believe you have been the victim of wrongful termination because of your age, or if you have been harassed at work, report your case as soon as possible.

  1. You can submit a request online 24 hours a day. Free case review within 15 minutes.

  2. By chat, you'll be connected with an employment lawyer within 5 minutes.

  3. By calling the employee right's 24-hour hotline at 1-661-310-7999


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