It is no secret that workers above 40 years of age are often at a disadvantage when it comes to gaining or keeping their employment. All too often, employees above 40 years of age become victims of employment violations disguised as cutbacks, layoffs and other excuses. Employers may want to hire someone younger because it would cost them less or they believe that the younger employee is more easily able to adapt to changing cultures or technologies. However, In California it is illegal to terminate or discriminate against an employee based on the fact he or she is above the age of 40.
For example, one of our former clients – a man nearing the age of retirement – gave his life to working on oil rigs. He worked his way up to supervisor of his department and trained the crew below him. However, when it came time for mass lay-offs, he was one of the first to go, with the younger employees he trained who were paid at a lesser wage being permitted to stay on the job.
When he asked why he was chosen for lay-off, the oil company said it was due to poor performance. In a field valuing youth and low wages, our client found it very difficult to find any work afterwards, making his termination all the more devastating. He drained his savings in mere months and eventually was at risk of losing his home.
When Bibiyan Law Group came on board, we requested all of the documents and information regarding our client compared with those that performed the same duties as him so that we could determine the common theme between those chosen for lay-off and those permitted to stay. We also deposed his supervisor who laid him off for over 8 hours. Eventually, the evidence came to suggest that he actually compared favorably with those chosen to stay on board that performed his duties. We also found that his poor performance reviews seemed to be related to his age, as the negative reviews he received came for being “slow” and “not a leader”. Despite being one of many laid off employees, Bibiyan Law Group was able to secure a 6-digit recovery for the employee.
This story is not unique. Terminations on the basis of age occur every day. Terminations on the basis of age often occur when new managers come on board and want to institute a new culture, when plant closings or lay-offs occur, or sometimes simply when employees have just overstayed their welcome. These age-related terminations are often hidden behind excuses like poor performance reviews, errors in work performance, policy violations, and lay-offs for reasons supposedly having nothing to do with the employee. However, as shown above, with the proper investigation, these excuses can be shown to be paper thin and, in fact, nothing more than a front for age discrimination.
If you believe you are a victim of age discrimination, please do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles Discrimination Law Firm to discuss your rights.