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California Age Discrimination Claims Are on the Rise

California Age Discrimination Claims Are on the Rise

20% of all complaints made to the state involved claims of age discrimination.

In 2013, the California Legislature authorized the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to file lawsuits under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, California’s expansive anti-discrimination law.

In the last year, the DFEH started a new process, with the goal of making it easier to file a civil rights complaint in California.  According to an experienced employment discrimination attorney, the focus of this initiative was a new case filing and management system, Cal Civil Rights System (CCRS).  CCRS allows both employees and tenants to file complaints online, triggering an investigation from the state.  Individuals can also schedule appointments, check on case status, submit notes and documents, make public records requests and ask for right to sue letters —all using this online platform.

The DFEH recently released its 2017 Annual Report .  The report showed that during 2017, DFEH received almost 25,000 complaints, a 5% increase from 2016. Approximately 90% of the complaints filed were related to employment.

One of the biggest takeaways from the report is that the number of age discrimination and retaliation complaints has skyrocketed in California.  According to a seasoned employment discrimination attorney, in 2016, just 11% of all employment complaints made to DFEH were based on age discrimination and retaliation.  In 2017, that number shot to 20%.

Age discrimination involves treating a job application or an employee less favorably because of his or her age.  It only applies to older work (40 and above), and does not apply to workers under the age of 40.  There are two primary laws that protect older employees: the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and California’s FEHA.   Both laws prohibit discrimination against employees who are 40 or older.

While the DFEH did not disclose a reason for the rise in age discrimination claims, part of the reason may be California’s increasing reliance on high-tech jobs.  This type of economy, while a boon for our overall growth as a state, may result in older workers being pushed out for younger employees.  Alternatively, older workers may be discriminated against simply because it is less expensive to hire younger employees.

Whatever the case may be, it is clear that age discrimination and retaliation complaints are on the rise in California.  If you are age 40 or older, and you believe that you have been discriminated against or retaliated against at work on the basis of your age, you may have legal recourse.  An experienced employment discrimination attorney can evaluate your case to help you determine if you are able to file a claim against your employer for age-related discrimination.

At PLBSH, our team of legal professionals is dedicated to helping our clients get the best possible outcome for their cases.  We work collaboratively with our clients to put together the strongest possible case based on both the facts and the law.  Contact our firm today at (800) 435-7542 or to learn more or to schedule an initial consultation.

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