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What is age discrimination?

When a new California high school or college graduate begins their job search to enter the work force they may discover that they lack the experience to take on some types of work. However, once they get their foot in the door and begin building their work history their options for employment may become more robust as they prove themselves in the context of an occupation. It may seem, then, that older workers who have put in their time and built up their careers may have an easier time advancing in and moving to new careers due to their experiences.

This, sadly, is not always the case because age discrimination is a very real and very damaging problem for some individuals. Age discrimination happens when an employer makes an employment decision, such as taking adverse action against an employee or hiring a new worker, based on an applicant's age.

Federal and state laws protect workers from age discrimination and the most well-known of these pieces of legislation is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA applies to workers who are at least 40 years of age and protects them from age-related firings, demotions, hiring decisions, and other employment actions. It also protects them from being denied certain benefits from their employers due to the ages.

A worker does not lose their value to an employer only because they grow older while performing the duties of their job. For this reason, employers may not discriminate against their employees based on age. To learn more about age discrimination, ADEA and other workplace and employment law topics, readers should contact their trusted employment law attorneys.

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