Age Discrimination Laws in California

Age Discrimination Laws in California


California law prohibits age discrimination, but what are the exact age discrimination laws? Is there anything you can do if an employer or potential employer has discriminated against you?

Age Discrimination Laws in California

In the state of California, as well as under federal law, employers aren’t allowed to use an employee’s age to make employment decisions if the employee is at least 40 years old. There are several ways that law applies, such as:

  • Employers can’t limit a job search to younger applicants because younger applicants will work for less money
  • Employers can’t target older workers to lay off
  • Employers can’t discourage older employees form applying for training programs or promotions

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, or ADEA, protects some applicants and employees who are age 40 and older from discrimination on the basis of age in:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Promotion
  • Compensation
  • Terms, conditions or privileges of employment

Another is the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990, or OWBPA, which prevents employers from denying benefits to older employees.

Those are federal laws, but as in many cases, California law picks up where federal law leaves off. The Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA, provides even wider protections for workers aged 40 and older. FEHA is similar to ADEA, except that it applies to all employers with at least five employees.

When Can Age Be a Job Requirement?

There are a few exceptions to the ADEA that allow employers to hire people of a certain age. For example, a children’s clothing store that needs models is allowed to bar people over 40 (or even much younger) from applying for the job. These types of exceptions are considered bona fide occupational qualifications, which means it’s reasonable for the employer to seek employees of a certain age.

Examples of Age Discrimination at Work

While it’s unfortunate, ageism is very real – and if you’ve been the victim of it, you may want to talk to an age discrimination lawyer in Glendale or L.A. who is well-versed in the law and able to fight for your rights.

Some examples of age discrimination at work include:

  • An older worker being fired on the basis that the company will soon be required to pay that employee retirement benefits or pay
  • An older applicant being passed over because an employer wanted a younger-looking person to perform the job
  • An older worker being turned down for promotion because of his or her age
  • An older worker being subjected to age-related remarks before being fired, such as “over-the-hill”

Do You Think You Were Discriminated Against Due to Your Age?

If you feel you were discriminated against by an employer because of your age, we may be able to help you get justice.

Call us at 818-617-9706 or toll-free at 800-774-4163 for a complimentary consultation. We want to hear what happened to you and determine whether you have a case. If you do, we may be able to get you the compensation you deserve.


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