California Labor Laws on Age Discrimination

There are many types of prohibited employment discrimination in California. One common type is age discrimination. The Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA, protects employees who are at least 40 years old from discrimination in the workplace or during the hiring process. It is unlawful for an employer to discharge an employee because of that employee’s age if the employee is 40 years or older. And it is also unlawful for an employer to only search for younger applicants if the employer has a job opening. Age discrimination in the workplace is just one of the many areas of law in which California labor lawyers work to prevent.

California Labor Lawyers Deter Discrimination in the Workplace

In Nickel v. Staples, the plaintiff was employed as a facilities manager. The plaintiff was 64 years old at the time he was terminated. At the time he was terminated, a new company had just acquired the company he had been employed with for several years. Throughout his employment, the plaintiff received accolades and positive reviews for his performance. Despite this, the plaintiff believed he was terminated because his pay scale was higher than many of the employees of the acquiring company. His managers also stated that they needed to get rid of the older, higher paid employees. The plaintiff’s age also became a running joke at the office, and he was often referred to as an old goat. Lastly, the plaintiff was even approached by a co-worker who told him that she had been told by upper management to make up a false statement about the plaintiff’s conduct as a pretext to his termination.

The jury sided with the plaintiff. The jury awarded the plaintiff a total verdict of $26,107,328, most of which was punitive damages. This is an exceptional result that is rare in California jury verdicts. While the details here don’t seem to justify such a large verdict, the jury saw and evaluated all of the facts before coming to such a large amount.

Nickel Proves Workplace Discrimination Still Exists

Unfortunately, employers still take adverse action against its employees for discriminatory reasons. Sadly, this is far too common in California. But companies can be held accountable. If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace for any reason, call a California labor lawyer. There are many great lawyers up and down the State of California. If you have a good case, you will find a lawyer who will likely represent you on a contingency fee.

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