It is never a good thing to discriminate an employee on account of his or her age. To begin with, it is not allowed under prevailing employment laws such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to deliberately harass and/or subject a senior employee age 40 years or older to any unfavorable employment action. Although it is not an uncommon occurrence for a lot of employers to subject older employees to layoffs or demotions, there have been a lot of instances wherein they become less favored, with younger, less qualified employees landing eloquent jobs or promotions.
Proving age discrimination
Any of situations stated above may be considered age discrimination, but the burden of proof always rests on the aggrieved senior employee. The task of proving the employer or co-worker’s discriminatory actions can be difficult, which is why it is imperative for him or her to seek the expertise of an expert workplace discrimination attorney. Meanwhile, here are some instances that can help prove age discrimination in the workplace:
- • In most age discrimination and harassment cases, there is always the situation wherein the older employee is subjected to harsh comments or remarks directed toward him or her about his or her age. Those are already direct evidence of age discrimination, and must be noted through writing. The names of those involved, as well as the places, times, and dates of the incidents, should be included.
- • It is age discrimination if the older employee is constantly being reprimanded or disciplined for violations that younger employees also commit without receiving any write-ups.
- • Leaving behind an older worker in various instances at work, from training, important company events, to even lunch breaks can be used as evidence for one’s age discrimination claim. Also, age discrimination is evident if the bosses suddenly favor younger employees over older ones, especially when it comes to job assignments, office space, and in promotions.
Important steps to take when getting discriminated because of age
When an older employee gets involved in any of the abovementioned instances by his or her employer or co-worker, then it is best that he or she should act immediately. Before hiring an employment lawyer who specializes in handling discrimination claims, here are some important steps to take right after a certain workplace incident:
- • Put into writing the details of every event that is deemed discriminatory. It is important to include when and where they happened, as well as who were involved. Keeping important documents is likewise imperative, especially if they can help shed light to the situations, such as disciplinary write-ups and demotion or termination letters.
- • All pieces of evidence must be kept away from the office, and must be instead kept at home. They can be retrieved once the aggrieved employee is ready to file an age discrimination or harassment lawsuit against his or her company.
- • Before doing that, though, it is important for him or her to first report the incident by writing a formal complaint with the human resource department or administrative office. It would be right to give them the chance to investigate what happened.
- • If nothing happened and the complaint was all for naught, then you must consult with the employment lawyer immediately. It is likewise imperative to file charges against your employer through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Calif. Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).