Articles Posted in age discrimination

One increasingly common side effect of the COVID-19 is a virulent uptick in ageism. As a longtime L.A. employment lawyer, I’ve noted an uptick in ageist attitudes in the social media sphere that is undoubtedly pervading workplaces as well.

Research published in the journal Age and Ageing found that older people were misrepresented and undervalued in the public discourse surrounding the pandemic, and that some policies that may have purported to be “protective” of older populations were in fact patronizing and possibly illegal. L.A. age discrimination lawyer

The risk of serious coronavirus complications statistically increases with age, per the CDC. This may have prompted some employers to engage in age discrimination against older workers and prospective employees. Continue Reading ›

A new study found that job discrimination began for over-40 applicants as soon as their age became known by the employer. Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer

The analysis, conducted by economists for the National Bureau of Economic Research in San Francisco, indicated that when workers applied in person for a position, they were “substantially” less likely to land that job than those who applied online. Researchers theorized the reason was the online applications didn’t ask job candidates for their age, and thus that information didn’t become apparent until the hiring entity has already had time to give at least initial consideration to candidates on the basis of their skills.

Ultimately, older workers in both scenarios still face age discrimination. However, at least a candidate who makes it to the interview stage has had an opportunity to highlight their desirability has an employee without age as a factor. And as our Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers point out, candidates who make it to the later stages of the interview process and are then denied may have an easier time proving discriminatory hiring practices. Continue Reading ›

Is saying, “Ok, boomer” a form of age discrimination? The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing the possibility. While we await a decision, companies may want to be wary of workers tossing the phrase around. age discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

The pithy catchphrase went viral last year as a means of taking a dig at older generations – specifically the perception that aging individuals tend to be more judgmental, narrow-minded and rigidly conservative. Recently, while considering an age discrimination lawsuit, Chief Justice John Roberts, himself a baby boomer (those born between 1946 and 1964), asked hypothetically whether use of the phrase said during the hiring process would constitute age discrimination.

The case in question involves an older government employee who alleges she was discriminated against because of her age. When Roberts asked the question, the somber mood within the courtroom lightened as many chuckled. However, the plaintiff’s employment attorney did seize on it to make a serious point, noting that the use of ethnic slurs in the hiring process could easily be construed as evidence of age discrimination – why not a quip like, “Ok, boomer”? Continue Reading ›

As an employee in California, you have rights under both state and federal law that protect you from harassment and discrimination based on your belonging to a protected classification. For example, if you are a woman paid substantially less than male colleagues doing the same work, that’s a form of gender discrimination on the basis of sex – a protected class. Los Angeles employment lawyer

In fielding hundreds of inquiries over the years from California workers whose rights are being violated on-the-job, our Los Angeles employment attorneys want to ensure as many people as possible understand what exactly harassment, discrimination and retaliation is and how to best address it.

What is Workplace Discrimination? 

Discrimination is adverse treatment by an employer against workers who fall into a protected class. California employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Gender (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions)
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity/expression
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Military/veteran status
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking or assault

This is much more extensive than the federal law, and some cities in California have their own rules that extend protections even further. Continue Reading ›

Hiring is an integral but time-consuming, expensive and often tedious process with which every company must contend. In looking for ways to cut down on exhausting searches, an increasing number of companies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) systems to help more quickly identify qualified candidates. This can prove especially beneficial for firms that need to cut through a huge influx of potential applications. age discrimination attorney

However, there is growing concern that such AI application systems may be perpetuating some forms of discrimination, particularly age, gender and race. This is in spite of tech companies insisting that their systems are designed to root out long-existing human biases.

Last year, Amazon tested integrated machine-learning techniques on its recruiting platform. This was supposed to be a “smart tool” that could help managers pick ideal job candidates faster. However, after being fed a decade’s worth of resumes, the system began showing a clear bias toward male candidates. In troubleshooting, engineers with the company figured out that because most of the resumes were coming from male candidates, it made the “artificial intelligence” leap that male candidates were more desirable, and thus downgraded the ratings of female applicants. Engineers addressed this by editing the programs so that they included more gender neutral terms. However, that doesn’t mean these systems won’t still prove discriminatory – now and in the future. (Amazon decided to ax the project before fully launching it, perhaps realizing the potential legal liability landmine.)

It’s no leap to surmise similar discriminatory patterns could soon emerge.

If, for instance, a firm has a general tendency to hire fresh-out-of-college candidates, these systems could easily begin trending toward a younger workforce bias. Continue Reading ›

A proposed class action lawsuit alleges banks, insurance companies, investment firms and loan officers were able to discriminate against older, female prospective new hires and customers using Facebook Inc.’s targeted ad platforms. The complaint, filed in San Francisco federal court, insists the company allowed financial service and other advertisers target their ads to certain consumers on the basis of age and gender – even though the company has already been taken to task for similar discriminatory ad practices.employment discrimination

If it’s proven that this violated civil rights and employment rights laws, Facebook could be vulnerable to paying billions in damages to users across the country.

An attorney for the plaintiffs told Reuters the relative novelty of the internet doesn’t usurp the civil rights and employment law protections that Americans enjoy. A spokeswoman for Facebook said the company is taking the time to review the complaint, and expressed pride with the gains the social media giant has made on this front over the last few years. Continue Reading ›

The hostility – contrived or otherwise – between Millennials & Generation Z v. Baby Boomers has become pervasive in media, public forums and online – recently giving birth to the viral phrase, “Ok, Boomer!” It’s been used by younger generations in response to interrupted city hall presentations on climate change, Donald Trump tweets, cringe-worthy YouTube videos or really any remark of condescension toward those under 30 or issues of great importance to them. The phrase is on memes, t-shirts and a growing inventory of merchandise, and The New York Times announced it “marks the end of friendly generational relations.”

Just keep it out of the office. age discrimination

As our Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers can explain, “Ok, Boomer!” may seem at worst a rudely dismissive declarative statement on generational differences, but if it worms its way into workplace vernacular, it’s likely to be presented as evidence at some point in an employment lawsuit. That’s because age (over 40) is a protected category in the workplace. There are numerous state and federal laws that shield older workers from discriminatory, adverse employment action on that basis. However, it’s notoriously challenging to prove. A phrase like this tossed around more than once, particularly among more than one staffer or supervisor, the case for age discrimination can get much easier.

Referred to as the “digital equivalent of an eye roll,” it might seem harmless with strangers online or even across the Thanksgiving dinner table, but it can pretty quickly cease to be a joke and start being a real problem in the workplace. And it’s not that even employment attorneys can’t take a joke, but the fact is it’s been more than 50 years since the passage of the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 and still 6 in 10 older workers say they have experienced age discrimination at work. Continue Reading ›

The American labor union representing some 160,000 television and film actors, radio personalities, journalists, singers and others is arguing a 2017 California age discrimination law that censors celebrity ages online should be reinstated. The law was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on First Amendment grounds.age discrimination

The goal of AB 1687  was to crack down on rampant age discrimination in youth-oriented Hollywood, but the effect has been the ages and birthdays of famous actresses and actors can be removed from online entertainment employment services sites like IMDb.com, at the entertainers’ request.

Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers understand that SAG-AFTRA’s argument to have it reinstated was met with a great deal of skepticism from the appellate court justices.

Both Overinclusive and Underinclusive? 

IMDb, wildly popular with 250 million unique visitors monthly, was created in the early 1990s, with its website launched in 1996. The law had forced the company to remove actors’ ages if they were subscribers to the site’s premium service and asked them to do so. Continue Reading ›

A long-running legal battle between the Los Angeles times and one of its sports writers concluded recently when a jury in Los Angeles was awarded more than $15 million in damages for age discrimination and disability discrimination. The claim was first filed six years ago, according to The Washington Post.age discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

Plaintiff, a sports reporter for the Times, suffered a small stroke while covering a spring training in Arizona. He was also later diagnosed with chronic migraines. After this, the newspaper slashed his three-times-a-week column down to two. The reasoning given by the newspaper was that the columns were not well-written and resulted in a poor reflection on the newspaper. The columns he did produce were subsequently more heavily scrutinized than ever.

A few months later, he was suspended, demoted to reporter and resigned – all over a video surfaced that the Times asserted showed a conflict of interest. Plaintiff argued he never had a business relationship with the producer. Plaintiff then went to work for a competitor newspaper before filing his lawsuit, alleging he’d been the victim of workplace age discrimination and disability discrimination. Continue Reading ›

Despite the rhetoric of corporate lobbyists, California discrimination claims are anything but easy wins. The process is difficult, complex and expensive – and deep-pocketed defendants have both the advantage and incentive to drag these cases out, in the hopes plaintiffs will throw up their hands and walk away.employment discrimination

This is not to say they shouldn’t be pursued, but only under the direction of an experienced employment attorney who understands the risks, can realistically explain your odds, has a proven track record of success and in whom you feel you can place your trust.

It’s important to note that not all types of discrimination are unlawful. For instance, it is legal to discriminate on the basis of age in California – so long as the person impacted isn’t 40 or older. There are some states that protect younger workers from age-based discrimination, but California isn’t one of them. However, if, for example, both workers are over 40, age discrimination can still apply. Continue Reading ›

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