While the company attributed layoffs last year to budget constraints, the women – all over 40 – said they were all in upper managerial roles at the firm when the layoffs occurred, followed shortly thereafter by hiring younger replacements. Those employees who remained after the layoffs were then given raises of 10 percent. NBC-4 Los Angeles reported in one case, a younger woman with less experience than one of plaintiffs became a supervisor. Another alleged the director asked if she would be retiring anytime soon. One said she felt pressured to return to work early from her medical leave (during which she was undergoing chemotherapy treatments), indicating at one point, because it didn’t seem her supervisors believed the severity of the situation, that she felt compelled to open her shirt and show her scars to her supervisors.
The case is further complicated because the company contracts with Los Angeles County (specifically the Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community) and receives local, state and federal funds to to provide workforce services to youth, adults and seniors. The County is not named as a defendant in the California age discrimination lawsuit. Plaintiffs say they not only want to be compensated for their losses, but to protect current employees from facing the same fate in the future.
Recently, the Bloomberg Labor and Employment Blog explored the issue of whether we will see a surge of age discrimination claims in the coming years, given the job losses endured during the Great Recession and many companies seeking now to fill those posts specifically want “less qualified” applicants to fill those posts.
Technically, a policy or posting that specifies “less experience” doesn’t necessarily equal an explicit discrimination on the basis of age. As our Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys can explain, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is somewhat ambiguous on whether this counts as age discrimination. A federal court in California last year gave the green light to applicants of PriceWaterhouse Coopers to continue pursuit of their claims against the company for hiring practices they alleged were in clear violation of the ADEA. Earlier this year, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a 58-year-old attorney to move forward with his age discrimination lawsuit after he was rejected from a job that required prospective employees to have seven years or less experience. However, another divided ruling the year before by justices with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (representing Alabama, Georgia and Florida) held it proper for a lower court to dismiss the age discrimination lawsuit of a 49-year-old territory manager applicant who alleged it wrong for the company’s job description to specify a “targeted candidate” as someone with 2-3 years out of college who easily adjusts to changes – even though the firm expressly instructed the hiring contractor to steer clear of applicants who had more than 8 years of job experience.
However, the Seventh Circuit’s ruling and that of the federal court in California indicate there is ample legal ground to prevail in a Los Angeles age discrimination lawsuit.
Contact the age discrimination attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.
Applying for Age Discrimination: Can Prospective Employees Bring Disparate-Impact Age Discrimination Claims? Aug. 1, 2018, By Michael Brody, BNA.com
More Blog Entries:
The State of Employee Rights After Supreme Court Decision on Unions, July 11, 2018, Los Angeles Age Discrimination Attorney Blog