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Know the facts on age discrimination in the workplace

Workers in California want to be respected and given fair opportunities and employers generally want to make sure they do not discriminate against their employees. Unfortunately, sometimes, workplace discrimination occurs, including age discrimination.

 What is age discrimination?

Under federal law, age discrimination occurs when a person age 40 or older is treated less favorably due to their age. Discrimination in hiring, layoffs, job assignments, promotions, firing and other aspects of employment based on age is prohibited.

Workplace harassment based on age is also prohibited. This includes making offensive remarks, but it does not include offhand remarks, mere teasing or an isolated incident. The harassment must be so pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment or leads to an adverse employment action.

Who is protected by age discrimination laws?

Age discrimination can occur between younger and older employees, and it can occur between employees who are both age 40 or older. It is important to note that if you are under age 40, you cannot claim age discrimination if you are treated differently from your peers.

Employees and employers want an inclusive workplace

Both employees and employers in California want an inclusive workplace free from discrimination. If you believe you are experiencing age discrimination in the workplace, you may want to refer to your employer’s internal processes for addressing such claims. If this is ineffective, you may want to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).