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Age discrimination a growing problem in California

There is something satisfying about doing a job well. However, it often takes time to develop the skills sufficient to move forward in a position and contribute to the achievements of a company. After years, or even decades, in a company, an employee may feel emotionally and personally vested in its success. However, more workers in California and across the country are finding themselves victims of age discrimination as they reach this point in their careers.

After more than 40 years of stellar work at a sheet metal manufacturer in another state, one woman was shocked to be laid off along with over 300 other veteran employees. Her work reviews, consistently A ratings, inexplicably plummeted to a C just a few months before her termination. The company claimed it needed to reduce the salaried workforce to compete with others in the industry.

What the terminated workers soon discovered was that almost half of those laid off were over the age of 40, and many of them also had medical conditions or had family members suffering from such illnesses. About 70 of the former employees filed a discrimination lawsuit after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission validated their claim. Some analysts say there has been a recent trend of terminating older workers to streamline a workforce. Data shows that over 1,000 more age discrimination claims were filed this year compared to the previous year.

Fighting an age discrimination lawsuit is challenging. Many find it difficult proving ageism as a prime reason for a demotion or termination. Fortunately, California has tough laws against any workplace discrimination, and working with an attorney who has experience with state laws may be a prudent decision.

Source:, "Shown the door, older workers find bias hard to prove", Elizabeth Olson, Aug. 9, 2017

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