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Age discrimination is an issue when employees over the age of 40 suffer unfair treatment on the job based specifically on age. This type of treatment is illegal under both California state and federal law.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that prohibits and protects against age discrimination. The Act applies to companies with 15 or more employees and requires that employers refrain from singling out workers over the age of 40 in the terms and conditions of employment as well as in job advertisements.

California state law addresses age discrimination under the Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA). Like the federal law, California law under FEHA makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against employees who file age discrimination complaints or charges or who participates in age discrimination court proceedings.

Examples of Actionable Age Discrimination

Early retirement deals, also known as golden handshakes, are not always legitimate. When an employer bases these deals on the age of a worker over 40, with no other legitimate business reason, a violation of federal and state age discrimination law has occurred. 

Illegal Employee Replacement

Employers commonly refresh the labor force by replacing workers on a routine basis. When an employee over the age of 40 can prove a replacement occurred specifically in order to hire or promote a younger employee, he or she could have a case for age discrimination under both federal and state law.

Illegal Wage Determinations

Violations of age discrimination laws can occur with any aspect of employment. Particularly, with wage and salaries, an employer must not make an unfair wage determination based on the fact that an employee is over 40. An employer may be liable for age discrimination when it uses age to determine that an older worker with higher pay due to seniority should be replaced with a younger worker with less seniority.

Inequality in Job Benefits

In addition to the ADEA, workers also have federal protection against age discrimination via the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. The Act requires employers to treat older and younger employees equally in terms of the scope and amount of benefits received. Though employers may be tempted to spend less on benefits for older workers or offer less coverage than younger workers, both these actions are prohibited by federal law. 

Help For Victims of Age Discrimination

If you think you've been a victim of age discrimination, contact The Hamideh Firm, P.C. today for a free and confidential consultation at 310-556-9687 or We are here to help and would love to hear your story and let you know what legal remedies are available to you. And as always, there are no charges unless we win your case.