Articles Posted in age discrimination

U.S. and California law provide very specific discrimination protections for employees who have historically been the greatest targets. Typically, these are women, racial minorities, older workers and those with disabilities. We’ve come a long way in the last 50- to- 60-years in ensuring California workers aren’t fired, demoted, transferred or miss out on key benefits because of prejudice by their employers. However, a key component of those protections is the worker’s classification. Those who are classified as “employees” are entitled to a host of employment law protections – everything from minimum wages and regular mandated breaks to reasonable accommodations if one one’s pregnancy requires restrictions. Los Angeles employment attorneys often have to explain another important protection denied independent contractors: Anti-discrimination laws. workplace discrimination Los Angeles

Approximately 1 in 7 jobs in America is classified as independent contractor or some other contingent-employment arrangement. This amounts to millions of Americans – roughly 14 percent in all, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – whose work as freelancers, consultants, temporary agency laborers and contractors who are denied protections against discrimination for their age, race, gender, religion and disability. So for instance, while most employees can expect to be protected from age discrimination from their employer when they reach the age of 40, a freelancer has no such guarantee.

There are some analyses that suggest the unprotected workforce could be even larger. For instance, the California-based Staffing Industry Analysts recently released information indicating roughly 30 percent of American workers could be counted in the “contingent workforce.” The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes it clear that anti-discrimination statutes exempt independent contractors as well as those working for employment agencies. Sometimes, anti-discrimination protections depend on the number of employees a company has.  Continue reading

There is an unfortunate stereotype perpetuated in the technology sector that older workers can’t be effective with newer tech. That the younger employees the fresher the ideas and the greater opportunities for the firm to thrive.employer attorney Riverside California

Such sentiments have been revealed time and again in California age discrimination lawsuits against tech companies in Silicon Valley.

The latest class action age discrimination lawsuit is against technology firm IBM, filed on behalf of three former employees in North Carolina and Georgia, filed in a federal court in New York. Plaintiffs – all between the ages of 55 and 67 – allege the company systematically discriminated against older workers by laying them off disproportionate to the younger employees and also by declining to hire them for other positions that were open in the company. One of the workers had been employed at the firm for 15 years, while the other two had worked for the company more than three decades. Continue reading

A California age discrimination lawsuit filed by four women laid off after decades of working for a job placement center say they were treated unfairly due to their age. age discrimination attorney

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. Continue reading

A 58-year-old Ontario, Calif., woman who has already been awarded $3 million in compensatory damages is now entitled to $28 million more after aage discrimination jury in Los Angeles Superior Court determined she faced repeated and pervasive age discrimination from her former employer. The jury decided defendants acted with malice against plaintiff and landed on the figure of $28 million during the punitive stage of the lawsuit. Comments against the plaintiff during her employment with the company allegedly included “We need younger workers here,” “Dumb female,” and “You are outdated.” The remarks reportedly were made by her supervisor and his boss. According to Associated Press, in addition to discrimination, plaintiff accused her former employer of harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

Plaintiff worked for the company and its subsidiaries in various positions from 1978 until she said she was forced to quit from job stress in 2014. About seven months before she left the company, plaintiff got a new boss, and things really changed for her at work. She alleged her new boss regularly threatened her job and put extremely intense pressure on her. Although the parent company was located in Washington, plaintiff worked at plants in Orange, San Dimas, and Glendora. Attorney for plaintiff suggested the settlement should be more than double what she was ultimately awarded, arguing that age discrimination was part of a bigger picture. He claimed an entire department at the company was driven out and replaced by younger, cheaper employees. Plaintiff said she was replaced by a 20-year-old after she left. Continue reading

Employers often want to position their companies as a place that the next generation of workers will thrive and feel welcome. However, it’s age discriminationcrucial that in doing so, they are not committing age discrimination.

An Orlando-based national restaurant chain learned this lesson the hard way after settling an age discrimination lawsuit brought on by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for $2.85 million. According to a Newsweek report, about 135 applicants alleged they were asked their age during interviews and that interviewers made age-related comments. They claimed they were then denied employment because of their ages.

Managers at Seasons 52, part of the Darden family of restaurants, allegedly made comments to applicants age 40 or older that they were “Looking for someone younger,” or that “Seasons 52 girls are younger and fresh.” The lawsuit covered 35 restaurants across the nation, including California. In addition to pointed questions about age, EEOC claimed the chain also hired people 40 and older at a significantly lower rate than younger applicants, even for back-of-house positions.

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As the #MeToo movement has proven, it’s tough being a woman in the workplace, particularly working in a male-dominated field. Evenage discrimination tougher, it seems, is the discrimination women face as they get older and try to maintain their standing in their professional careers. Many face a different set of standards as they age than their male counterparts, according to an examination by Forbes. Men’s age is often seen as a symbol of experience, status, wisdom, and leadership capabilities. Even if they lack the modern skills some younger people bring to the workforce, they are typically valued for the knowledge they can share with those inexperienced in the field. For women, though, their age can be construed as a sign that they are outdated, out-of-touch, and lacking technical abilities. Sadly, physical appearance is frequently a factor is these discriminatory practices, with men’s appearances being viewed more favorably as they age.

Ageism and sexism run deep in our society, so some might not even be aware they are mentally perceiving their employees differently. But hidden biases are not an excuse to give employees unequal treatment. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sec. 623 clearly states it is unlawful to fail or refuse to hire someone because of their age, or to discriminate in any way including compensation or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The law also prohibits classifying or segregating an employee in such a way that deprives them of opportunities other employees enjoy as a result of his or her age. Reduction of wages due to a person’s age is also illegal. Of course consideration of a person’s sex was already prohibited in workplace hiring, firing, and promotion matters based on Title VII of the civil rights Act of 1964.

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Even within organizations whose mission is to protect the rights of others, it is possible for questionable practices that infringe on rights to taint the reputation and wrongful terminationculture of the group. San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride has been caught up in accusations and internal tensions since the dismissal of its executive director in August 2016. Now the former employee is suing the group for wrongful termination as well as age discrimination and defamation of character.

The former executive director recently filed the lawsuit in Superior Court of California, County of San Diego claiming his firing by the group’s board was personal and not based on performance or any sort of wrongdoing, according to a report from San Diego Reader. In fact, other group members and staffers were so incensed by the dismissal they demanded plaintiff be reinstated, protesting the decision at one of the organization’s monthly meetings shortly after the firing.

Particularly noteworthy to those who defended plaintiff at the time of the dismissal was the booming success of San Diego Pride under his leadership. Many credit him for the record-breaking year the group had in 2016, according to NBC San Diego, including an influx of grants and popular events. He was seen as a rising star in the organization since he joined in 2013, first as an independent contractor, quickly escalating to general manager and then executive director the next year. The board remained vague on the sudden dismissal, citing a desire to “go in a different direction,” causing more unrest among group members upset over the lack of transparency. Continue reading

It may be a brave new world when it comes to technology and communications, but some companies might be up to the same old tricks when it comes to ageemplyment age discrimination discrimination.

According to an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times, dozens of top U.S. employers have been restricting the age group that can see recruitment ads posted on Facebook. These employers include business giants Verizon, Target, Goldman Sachs, Amazon, UPS, State Farm, and even Facebook.

These ads have spurred a class-action complaint recently filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of the Communications Workers of America. Also included in the plaintiffs are all Facebook users 40 years of age and older, who might have lost job opportunities due to advertising restrictions based on age.

Facebook allows options to target specific demographics so advertisements can reach the most relevant audience possible. Filters include location, interests, sex, and age. Ads cost more the broader the audience and the more people they reach, so it benefits an advertiser to find a very specific niche.

This is fantastic for a retailer selling men’s tennis shoes or a community promoting a local seniors’ retreat. But it might spell big trouble for employers who use these restrictions to limit the age of the audience that can see job ads posted on the platform. Continue reading

California is an at-will employment state, which means employees can be fired for any reason and with no warning. There are however some exceptions to the rule that would categorize such dismissals as a wrongful termination.wrongful termination

Some examples include if there was an agreement that required good cause for termination or if there was discrimination against a protected class. According to the California Labor Code Section 1102.5, an employer is also forbidden from firing an employee for refusing to commit an illegal act. Likewise, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee by terminating them for reporting such illegal activities. Such exceptions are essential to maintain laws and to protect whistleblowers who risk their livelihoods to come forward.

Whistleblower retaliation can be difficult to prove without proper guidance. If this sounds like something you have experienced on the job, it is important to seek assistance from a knowledgeable employment attorney who can counsel you on your rights and if there is a case for a lawsuit. Continue reading

Yet another California age discrimination lawsuit has been filed against tech company Hewlett Packard, which has been the subject of ongoing allegations of favoritism toward younger employees.age discrimination attorney

The 55-year-old plaintiff in the latest case worked for the firm for more almost 40 years, most recently as a research and development buyer. He asserts the company targeted older workers – including himself – in a 2012 layoff. After filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the government gave him permission to sue (which is a mandated step in the process). He is now seeking class action status.

The San Diego Tribune reports the DFEH has been in receipt of nearly three dozen age discrimination complaints made against this same company since mid-2012. Two dozen of those complainants were given the green light to file an employment lawsuit. More than half a dozen were dismissed or withdrawn and one was deemed outside the department’s jurisdiction. In a USA Today in-depth analysis on age discrimination complaints the DFEH in California, Hewlett Packard ranked No. 1 among Silicon Valley firms. Others included Cisco Systems, Apple, Google, Oracle and Genetech. Other companies like Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Intel and Tesla Motors also made the list. The majority of those complaints alleged wrongful termination, while some did allege age discrimination in the course of hiring and promotion. Continue reading