California employees cannot be discriminated against based upon their age. Pursuant to the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, and FEHA (California Fair Employment and Housing Act) employers cannot discriminate against older workers. This law applies to companies with 5 or more full time or regualr part time employees. Another requirement under this law is that the worker must be a minimum of 40 years old when the discriminatory act has taken place. The following acts would constitute “discrimination” against an individual or potential job applicant according to the law
- failing or refusing to hire, or to discharge, an individual
- refusal to provide a raise based upon age
- refusal to provide a promotion based upon age
- derogatory comments concerning the employees age
- reduction in pay
- failure to offer severance package
- firing an employee prior to a severance package vesting
- mandatory retirement plan (forcing someone to retire at age 65)
Some examples of age discrimination include but are not limited to the following:
1) If the employer is providing a reduction in the work force they should not fire a disproportionate amount of older protected employees (over 40 years old) compared to younger empoloyees.
2) Reducing hearth care benefits because the employee is eligible for medicare
3) Requiring employees over the age of 40 to undergo any special testing as a condition for promotion.
Persons who have suffered personly injuries and or damages as a result of an age discrimination claim are eligible to recover the following types of damages against their employer (the company) and the possibly the individuals who were involved in an or conspired the discrimination:
1) Reinstatement of employment and or promotion
2) Wages and benefits which are usually calculated from the date of the wrongful termination or demotion through the date of the trial.
3) In lieu of reinstatement a successful client may also recover future (i.e. projected) lost earnings from the company who discriminated against him on the basis of his age.
4) Emotional distress damages
5) Fringe benefits (i.e. company saving plans or other similar benefits that the individual would have been entitled to had he not been discriminated against)
6) if the Plaintiff is successful at the time of trial we will also be in a position to obtain a liquidated amount of damages which would equal the unpaid wages and benefits that the employee recovered by way of verdict.
A) in order to recover this additional portion of damages that an employee would be entitled to, it must be proven at the time of trial that the discrimination of the employee was “willful”. In other words it would have to be proven that the management of the company targeted an employee who is over 40 years old on the basis of his age alone.
7) All attorney’s fees and costs associated with litigating the case.
8) Punitive Damages: A jury may award punitive damages to someone who has been discriminated against based upon his age if the jury finds that the Defendants conduct shocks the conscience. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish and hopefully deter the employer from discriminating against an employee based upon their age.
In order to fully ascertain if you have a claim against your employer on the basis of your age we highly suggest you contact our law firm for a free consultation with Shaun Setareh. Moreover, we handle employment law cases on a contingency fee basis; in other words unless we recover money from the Defendant you never have to pay us any fees.
Contact us about your legal matter today!