Many companies already have their own set of policies that prohibit discrimination in their respective workplaces. Although they are making strides to promote not just equal opportunity in employment but also dynamic and diverse workplaces, occurrences of discriminatory and harassing behavior are still evident in some of these companies.
One of the many forms of discrimination that have been rampant in the realm of employment in the U.S. is on the basis of one’s age. Indeed, statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) showed that there were 21,396 age discrimination claims filed with the agency for the fiscal year 2013, or 22.8 percent of all claims filed in the U.S. Said figure was a slight decrease from the previous fiscal year (22,857).
About age discrimination
Basically, age discrimination involves unfair treatment of employees and applicants over 40 years of age, wherein they are subjected to discriminatory behavior in any aspect of employment. An example of this type of employment bias is when an older, more experienced employee is not favored for a promotion by his or her boss, with the latter choosing a younger yet less experienced employee. Another is when an applicant is not hired despite his or her qualifications simply because of the company’s inclination for a younger image.
Discrimination on the basis of one’s age may also involve harassing conduct, which may be verbal or visual in form. Making jokes, comments, or gestures pertaining to the employees’ age is what constitutes harassment, and if done in a consistent basis, it may result in a hostile working environment. When this happens, it is possible for the aggrieved employees to be constructively discharged.
Laws that prohibits employment discrimination based on age
If you are an individual working for a California employer and is 40 years or older, then you must be aware that you are protected by the various laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of age. Some of the important ones are the following:
· ADEA. Also known as Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, this federal law applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including government offices on the local, state, and federal levels, as well as employment agencies and labor organizations. Not only is discrimination prohibited by the said Act, but also harassment and retaliation.
· FEHA. In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act is the state’s chief statute that prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in employment. Unlike the ADEA, FEHA’s covered employers are those with 5 or more employees.
In the even you have been subjected to what you believe is discrimination on the basis of your age, it is a must that you file a complaint with your human resources department (HR). If your complaint goes unnoticed or the management failed to address your situation, then it would be imperative on your part to consult with a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer or file claims with the EEOC or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).