Articles Posted in age discrimination

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

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 USC 621, outlaws discrimination on the basis of one’s older age. When Congress passed the law, it acknowledged that older persons were disadvantaged by companies had commonly begun setting arbitrary age limits – regardless of the potential for job performance. age discrimination

This year marks 50 since the ADEA was passed, and still, age discrimination remains a common problem – even among those companies at the forefront of our technological advances. Social media companies in particular have been accused of perpetuating a culture of age discrimination.

Recently, Facebook was once again named a defendant in an age discrimination lawsuit, this one filed by a 52-year-old man who alleged that for two years, he was constantly the target of ageist jokes. Among the common themes of this constant humiliation were that older people were “creepy,” “don’t belong” at the organization and shouldn’t be employed by the firm because they “don’t relate.” One might characterize such statements as the ill-advised but isolated remarks of a few, but that argument starts to falter when you consider the highly-publicized comments made publicly by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg 10 years ago, who remarked that younger people are “just smarter.” Later, according to plaintiff’s lawsuit, a chart was displayed during a human resources presentation which showed workers in their 50s to be “low energy.”  Continue reading

Age discrimination is prohibited by the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which shields workers 40-and-older from suffering discrimination in any aspect of employment on the basis of older age. Disability discrimination violates the Americans With Disabilities Act, which protects workers from unfavorable treatment due to either a history of disability (i.e., cancer that is in remission or controlled) or a belief that one has a non-transitory physical or mental impairment (whether or not that belief is founded). employment attorney

Recently, an oil drilling company in Oklahoma was served with a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging the company violating both the ADEA and the ADA. The company allegedly refused to hire applicants who were either over 40 or who had a history of filing claims for benefits under workers’ compensation insurance.

The EEOC alleges the company used the information gleaned from applications for employment in order to carry out the discrimination. The employment lawsuit also seeks compensation for a specific applicant who was required to undergo a post-offer medical examination. Based on the findings of that examination, the company withdrew its job offer. Both the act of compelling the exam and withdrawing the job offer on the basis of that exam were unlawful, the EEOC asserts.  Continue reading

It’s been 50 years since federal lawmakers passed a law intended to protect workers from discrimination in employment on the basis of old age. oldwoman

But it would seem we still have a long way to go on this front.

A new study – one of the biggest ever on age discrimination – has revealed that in terms of hiring, the problem persists to this day and that it’s on the whole far worse for women than men.  Continue reading

A former employee of Lockheed Martin has just prevailed in his federal age discrimination lawsuit – to the tune of $51.5 million. It’s believed to be the largest-ever age discrimination verdict for an individual plaintiff.officebuilding

The 66-year-old plaintiff asserted that he was laid off five years ago for alleged staff cutbacks when in fact, his lawyers argued, the cuts were specifically instituted to slash older workers from the payrolls. The goal was to replace those older (i.e., costlier) workers and replace them with younger workers willing to work for lower salaries.

This kind of argument is based on an alleged pretextual claim. That is, the employer stated the adverse employment action (i.e., demotion, firing, lay-off, loss of benefits, refusal to hire, etc.) was due to one thing when in fact it was due to illegal discrimination. In this case, that alleged discrimination was on the grounds of the workers’ ages. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits age discrimination of workers over the age of 40. Continue reading

Federal law prohibits age discrimination by employers. It protects people who are 40 and older from facing rejection from employment or the denial of certain employment-related benefits solely on the basis of their age.gavel

But recently, a federal appeals court considered whether it’s ageism to discriminate against people over-50 compared with those who are between 40 and 50? It’s a question that hadn’t before been raised in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit until Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC.

According to court records, the complaint centers on alleged violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The workers who are named plaintiffs in the claim all worked for the defendant, which supplied materials to the auto industry. In 2008, when the industry started to tank, defendant engaged in numerous reductions in its workforce. The company ultimately fired about 100 salaried employees at some 40 locations/ divisions. The individual directors had a great deal of individual latitude in deciding who should stay and who should go. The company didn’t train directors in how to implement the reductions in force, and there were no written guidelines or policies. Plaintiffs in question were each let go and each was over the age of 50. Continue reading

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing reports that since 2012, there have been 90 age-related complaints filed against the 12 top technology companies in Silicon Valley. phone

This tells us two things:

  • Age discrimination is commonplace in the technology industry.
  • The graying workforce isn’t staying quiet about it.

Age discrimination lawsuits nationally are on the rise, as Baby Boomers are reaching and working beyond the age of 65. The New York Times detailed the fact that in 2015, there were 21,000 age discrimination complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Only a small percentage of those actually go to court, and proving these claims at trial is often a challenge. That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that in cases of demotion or dismissal, workers have to prove that age was the motivating factor. That can be tough for a few reasons. One is that we’re often talking about colleagues who may have known each other for a long time and have worked together closely for years. The second is that there is not usually a so-called “smoking gun” that clearly shows age was the motivation. Continue reading