Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Labor Law Violation on Age Discrimination

One of the most unaccepted labor law violations is age discrimination. It is unlawful under the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to discriminate an employee on the basis of age.

The state law of California makes it illegal for employers to terminate any individual who is at least 40 years of age for the reason of his/her age. One example of this is the case of Brian Reid who is suing Google, Inc. on the grounds of age discrimination. You can read more about this on a blog article entitled “California Supreme Court Agrees to Review Age Discrimination Case”.
There are three types of age-related discrimination that may be alleged:
  1. Discrimination by Disparate Treatment
  2. Discrimination by Disparate Impact
  3. Age-based Harassment
In the case of Reid, he asserted causes of action for unfair business practices under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), disparate treatment under FEHA, wrongful termination, failure to prevent discrimination and emotional distress.
According to him, he had been called “fuzzy,” “sluggish,” and “lethargic” at work, and that he had been told his ideas were "obsolete" and "too old to matter." These accusations were found by the appellate court to be true and hence, gave Reid the permission to pursue his claims.
His allegations can indeed be considered as harassment since age-related discrimination include age-based jokes or comments, offensive gestures, labeling or name-calling, and other verbal or non-verbal conduct that is insulting to an individual 40 years old and above.
In such cases where employees are harassed through unwelcome or offensive conduct based on his/her age which creates a hostile work environment, a complaint for age discrimination may be filed to the appropriate courts.
Any employers who commit a labor law violation of this kind will be subject under the law to compensate their aggrieved employee. The unreasonable and unlawful conducts of employers towards their elderly employees should be given due consequence.
Workers who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their age may try to settle the issue with his/her employer. In case they weren’t able to come to a settlement, they have the right to file charges.