Getting older is a part of life, but it doesn’t necessarily have an impact on your ability to do your job. Despite the fact that you may be more advanced in age, you are still capable, knowledgeable and perfectly able to keep up with its demands. However, others may not feel the same, and you may experience age discrimination in your California workplace.

Age discrimination is a real threat to your career, and you do not have to suffer in silence. You may have the right to speak out against this type of discriminatory treatment and seek to hold liable parties accountable. There are state and federal laws, particularly the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, that protect your rights as an older employee. 

Your rights under the ADEA

The ADEA offers various rights to people in the workforce who are older. There are protections for people in various parts of the employment process, including applicants, people who are already working or people who lost their jobs. Some of the specific protections you have under this federal statute include the following:

  • According to the ADEA, employers cannot discriminate against a person who is older when hiring, promoting, training or making other decisions for employees.
  • Employers can only include age as a prerequisite for employment when advertising open positions if it is a valid requirement for the specific type of job.
  • Employers cannot force workers to take early retirement, nor can they retaliate against an older employee for filing a claim or making a complaint.

You may not be certain that what you are experiencing counts as age discrimination. In fact, you may feel embarrassed by the treatment you received or feel uncertain of what you should do next. It may be in your interests to seek legal counsel regarding the potential steps you can take.

What’s next for you?

One of the most important things you can do as a victim of age discrimination is to reach out for the assistance of an experienced legal advocate. Any type of illegal treatment in the workplace is unacceptable, and you may be able to take specific steps that will hold liable parties accountable and even prevent the same thing from happening again in the future.

A smart place to start is to simply seek a complete evaluation of your case. This can help you see whether what you are experiencing is truly age discrimination and learn what you can do to protect your rights under the ADEA.