What You Should Know about California Age Discrimination Laws
Age discrimination in employment is prohibited under both federal and state laws. In fact, in the State of California, both federal and state laws apply to employers there. These laws, despite being different in terms of provisions, still basically ensure fair consideration in job applications and rightful treatment in the workplace for employees over 40 years old.
About the ADEA and the FEHA
Under federal law, age discrimination in employment is prohibited under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it states that it is illegal for employers to discriminate employees over 40 years of age in all aspects of employment—from recruitment and hiring to layoff or termination.
Meanwhile, in California, age discrimination is also prohibited, this time under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Enforced by the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), this law applies across city, county, and state public employers and government agencies, as well as private employers, labor organizations, apprenticeship programs, and employment agencies.
What sets these two laws apart is the coverage. The ADEA covers all employers with at least 20 employers, while the California FEHA applies to employers with only at least five employees.
Specific provisions under California employment through FEHA
Employers in California are governed by specific provisions under the FEHA. Aside from the state law prohibiting them to discriminate against employees in all aspects of employment, it also states that employers should also provide reasonable accommodation to those with disabling conditions.
When saying reasonable accommodation, it is the workplace adjustments that are provided for the differently-abled employee to perform his or her job normally.
Also, California employment agencies covered by the FEHA are not allowed to screen applicants and publish job advertisements based on age. They must likewise refuse job orders if they are asked to discriminate against applicants on the basis of age.
Exercising your rights
If you are an employee aged 40 years or older and were subjected to discrimination by your employer on the basis of your age, you must act on it immediately. You may file a complaint with either the EEOC or the DFEH, whichever is applicable. You may also consult with a Los Angeles employment lawyer from Employment Attorney Services.