What Qualifies As Age Discrimination?
By Corey Hanrahan
What qualifies as age discrimination? To prevail on a claim of age discrimination, an employee must show, by direct or circumstantial evidence, that an adverse employment action was taken against him/her because of his/her age. In short, age discrimination is the showing of different treatment of individuals based on age, where the law protects employees who have reached their 40th birthday. Age discrimination can be proven under two different theories: (1) disparate impact, and (2) disparate treatment.
The disparate impact theory is a theory in which age discrimination is proven by showing that an employer’s actions have a disparate impact on older workers as a group. California law allows these claims to be based on a comparison of two groups of workers age 40 and over.
“…In short, age discrimination is the showing of different treatment of individuals based on age, where the law protects employees who have reached their 40th birthday…“
A disparate treatment claim is a showing that one single employee was discriminated against based on his/her age. This is normally done by showing that age motivated the employer’s treatment of the employee, and a showing that the employee’s stated reason for the action is pretext (i.e., a lie).
California’s age discrimination statutes are to be enforced “with the goal of not only protecting older workers as individuals, but also of protecting older workers as a group, since they face unique obstacles in the later phases of their careers.”
If you have been subjected to age discrimination at work, contact The Hanrahan Firm for a free consultation.