Discrimination Based on Age (Over 40 Years Old) in California

Workplace discrimination comes in many forms, but they all ultimately lead to employers making certain actions that diminish the discriminated employee’s overall workplace satisfaction and happiness. 

Some of the most common action that employers take if stereotypes drive their discrimination is docking an employee’s pay or forbidding them from taking leave. 

Sadly, age-based discrimination is one of the most common forms of workplace discrimination and it can severely impact an employee's ability to live their lives without financial woes. On top of that, because age-based discrimination is so widespread, they may find it difficult to apply for other jobs, leaving them in a very difficult and precarious position. 

Fortunately, there are legal mechanisms that prohibit workplace discrimination by employers and provide a basis to fight said discrimination if you experience it. 

If you’ve been a subject of discrimination based on age (over 40 years old) in California, we’ll be happy to represent you and help you deal with a discriminatory employer. 

What is Age Discrimination?

Age discrimination is defined as treating employees or job applicants differently (less favorably) due to their age. Keep in mind that this only applies to people over 40 as age discrimination doesn’t include those who are younger. However, certain states also provide protection for people that are under 40 but this is not the case on a federal level. 

Age discrimination is the same for situations where both the employer and the employee are over 40 but it also applies to situations where the employer is younger (under 40) and the employee is older (over 40). 

ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) prohibits age discrimination and provides an efficient way for targeted employees to fight against injustice. 

Age Discrimination in Work Situations

The law in California forbids discrimination in all aspects of employment, including firing, hiring, promotions, pay, job assignments, training, benefits, leave, and all other employment terms and conditions. 

As far as harassment types go, they can range from simple teasing and offhand comments (which are not unlawful) to offensive and derogatory remarks about a person’s age. If the harassment is frequent and severe to the point where the work environment for the targeted person becomes offensive or hostile, or if it results in an employment decision where the target is demoted, fired, docked pay, or other, it is considered illegal. 

The harasser also doesn’t have to be the victim’s supervisor; they can also be a supervisor in another work area, a co-worker, and even people who aren’t employees (customers and clients). 

The Federal Register shows that an employment policy or practice is illegal if it has a negative impact on employees or applicants that are 40 or over and if it’s not based on a Reasonable Factor Other than Age


No one is allowed to discriminate against or harass you because of your age. Everyone must be given the same benefits, pay, and amount of work for the same work position, no matter their age. 

You may enjoy the same protections as your work colleagues that have been subjected to age discrimination if you help them seek justice by complaining to your or their supervisor. 

Sometimes, employers will punish employees who have raised concerns on another employee’s behalf by implementing changes in the concerned employee's contract or firing them. This is unlawful because there is no legal or contractual basis for doing so. 

If you’ve experienced discrimination based on age in California, you’ve come to the right place. Freeburg & Granieri specializes in discrimination cases. We have extensive experience representing clients who have been discriminated against and unlawfully punished by their employers based on their age. 

We offer a free consultation during which we’ll go over everything that happened to you and provide insight on what to do next. If there is a basis to go to court and right the wrongs you’ve experienced, we will be happy to help you win the case. 

Contact us for more info or any questions you may have.


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