Age discrimination by employers is a serious problem in the state of California and across the nation. As the population is aging and people are working much later in life, the problem will only get worse if things do not change.
According to a recent news article from KRON 4, a former investigator with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office is suing for age discrimination following her termination. Employee had been working for the prosecutor’s office since the summer of 1985. She claimed in her complaint she received numerous positive performance reviews and had been promoted five times before being fired.
She was working as a victim/witness investigator, which is a common position at prosecutors’ officers across the state of California. She was fired at the age of 59 last summer. This was 10 months before she would have been eligible to receive a retirement benefit for long-term employees who retire upon reaching the age of 60. In other words, being fired at 59 cost her a significant amount of money in terms of future benefits.
While a company might think it makes economic sense to terminate an employee prior to him or her reaching an age at which a retirement benefit vests, this is known as age-based employment discrimination and is illegal, as our Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain. However, it should be noted, in the case of the situation featured in the article, while the prosecutor’s office has been accused of engaging in age discrimination in an employment context, there has not been any finding of liability as of this time.
Specifically, discriminating against an employee or prospective employee based up age is violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. While the law is in place to prevent age discrimination, and the right to file an action is established, it is not always easy to prove there was age-based discrimination. For this reason, one of the best things you can do if you find yourself in this situation is keep accurate records of any discrimination you encounter, even if we are just talking about people making jokes in poor taste. If is often helpful to record any incidents in a journal as soon as they occur, so you can show this journal to your employment attorney. However, it essential that, if you keep such a journal, you write down the events as soon as you can, because a contemporaneous record is much more valuable than one created months or years after an event.
In this case, investigator received a letter explaining that the office was investigating her attendance. This was a few weeks before she was fired and is being used as justification for her termination. The prosecutor’s office is also alleging she was engaged in personal activities while she was supposed to be working and violated a number of other employment practices. They are defending the lawsuit and alleging there is no basis in truth for her claim, and her termination was justified and not related to her age.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
Terminated San Francisco DA’s office investigator sues for age discrimination, August 17, 2015, Kron 4, by Vince Cestone
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