In California, age discrimination is prohibited by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). However, these laws have yet to eradicate this offense from the United States and California completely.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the most common reasons for age discrimination are as follows:
- Myths about capability: Negative stereotypes, such as low productivity, adaptability, and innovation, can lead employers and colleagues to discriminate against older individuals.
- Personal biases of colleagues and employers: This may manifest as the belief that older individuals do not fit into the new work culture due to biases that create prejudices.
- Pressure from clients or competition: In some cases, employers or colleagues may discriminate against older individuals in employment or job activities at the request of a third party or due to a lack of experience in handling workplace conflicts. For example, a company may terminate employees because clients prefer working with younger individuals.
Furthermore, according to labor law specialists in California and the United States, age discrimination tends to manifest in various ways in the workplace, including through acts such as:
- Limited job opportunities or denial of employment may be part of internal company policies to reduce or avoid hiring older individuals.
- Layoffs: Older individuals may be laid off more frequently than younger individuals, even if they perform well in their jobs, motivated by productivity reasons.
- Denial of promotions can also translate into a lack of opportunities to achieve one.
- Unfair wages: For example, payments below those received by younger individuals.
- Harassment: Physical, verbal, or psychological actions by others that jeopardize the personal or professional stability of the employee.
In summary, the reasons for age discrimination and the frequent manifestations of this offense in workplace environments remain a persistent issue when implementing more inclusive policies or regulations within California.
However, identifying such actions as an employer or employee can make our workplaces more comfortable, fair, and equal. Remember, if you have been discriminated against for this or a similar reason, seek assistance from local authorities or visit a legal firm for more guidance on the matter according to your case.