How to Prove Age Discrimination

Under state and federal labor regulations — including the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) — many employees in Los Angeles have important protections against age discrimination in the workplace. Sadly, age discrimination still occurs far too often.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports that nearly 70 percent of older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in their workplace. 

At the same time, the EEOC found that only 3 percent of older workers have ever filed a formal age discrimination complaint.

Many older workers are hesitant to take legal action because they fear that they will not be able to prove that age discrimination occurred. 

Proving age discrimination can be challenging — but there are important steps that you can take to protect your rights. In this article, our Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys explain how to win an age discrimination lawsuit in California.

Understanding Age Discrimination at Work

Age discrimination (ageism) occurs when employees are subject to stereotypes, harassment, or other adverse actions based on their age. 

Every worker in California should be judged on their actual qualifications, not on age-related assumptions. 

While age discrimination can take a wide range of specific forms, a case will fall into one of the following two categories:

  1. Disparate Treatment: Disparate treatment refers to scenarios in which an employer intentionally singles out or treats a worker less favorably based on a protected characteristic. Generally, this is the more blatant form of age discrimination. 
  2. Disparate Impact: Disparate impact, which is also sometimes referred to as ‘unintentional discrimination’, refers to situations in which an employer’s conduct or policies disproportionately have a negative effect on a protected group. 

The two categories of age discrimination can be best understood through an example: Imagine that a large software company in Los Angeles only accepted applicants who were under 30 years old. That would be an example of disparate treatment

The policy itself openly discriminates against older workers.

In contrast, imagine that the same company only accepted applicants who graduated from college in the last three years. 

While technically, anyone of any age could be a recent graduate, disproportionately, older workers would be filtered out of the process because of that metric. 

As such, you could make a disparate impact age discrimination claim against that company.

Proving Age Discrimination in California

One of the biggest challenges that employees face is proving age discrimination in the workplace

actually occurred. Most employers are aware of the fact that there are state and federal labor laws prohibiting age discrimination. 

Unfortunately, this does not mean that supervisors and companies refrain from discriminatory practices. 

Instead, discrimination is often concealed. If you believe that you faced discrimination on the job, it is imperative that you take the proper steps to protect yourself. Among other things, you should be sure to do the following three things:

  1. Take Notes and Keep Careful Records: Ultimately, age discrimination claims, like other legal cases, must be built on a foundation of compelling and reliable supporting evidence. The more evidence that you have in your possession, the better off you will be in the claims process. When age discrimination occurs, it is essential that you take notes and record as much information as possible. If something was said to you, write down what happened, when it happened, and who was there. If you receive an email, text message, or voicemail, save it. Record as much information as possible.
  2. Remember that Unfair Treatment is Not Always Illegal: To prevail in an age discrimination case, you must be able to prove that you faced disparate treatment or a disparate impact based on your age. It is important to remember that unfair treatment is not always illegal treatment. With an attorney’s help, you are going to need to prove that age was a factor in the adverse treatment. In gathering evidence, it is crucial that you focus on instances where age or age-related factors were relevant.
  3. Consult With an Employment Lawyer Immediately: You only have a limited amount of time to bring an employment discrimination claim. From the moment you face discrimination in the workplace, you should be ready to discuss your case with an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer. Not only will your employment attorney be able to explain the age discrimination laws in California, but they can help you take the proper steps to address the issue and to gather the evidence that you need to win your case.

How Our Los Angeles, CA Age Discrimination Can Help

Our Los Angeles employment law attorneys handle the complete range of age discrimination cases.

Whether you are seeking to prove age discrimination for a workplace harassment claim or you are trying to determine how to prove age discrimination for a wrongful termination claim, we are here to help. 

At Workplace Rights Law Group LLP, our Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys will:

●  Conduct a free, strictly private review of your age discrimination claim;

●  Explain relevant state and federal laws and answer your questions;

●  Investigate the case — helping you organize and obtain additional evidence; and

●  Take the appropriate legal action to protect your rights and get you financial compensation.

Age discrimination must always be handled on a case-by-case basis. The circumstances facing our clients vary widely.

In some cases, we represent workers in wrongful termination claims who were unlawfully fired or laid off on the basis of their age. In other cases, we represent older workers who are being unfairly targeted for disciplinary action, potentially as a pretext to remove them in the future.

No matter your situation, our employment lawyers will protect your rights.

Get Help From Our Los Angeles Age Discrimination Attorneys Today

At Workplace Rights Law Group LLP, our California employment discrimination lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of age discrimination cases. We are strong advocates for employees.

If you or your family member was a victim of age discrimination, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm right away. From our law office in Los Angeles, we handle discrimination claims all over Los Angeles County, including in Anaheim, Santa Monica, Torrance, and Santa Ana. 


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