California workers who are 40 or older have legal protection against ageism in the workplace. From a legal standpoint, age discrimination is viewed as seriously as discrimination based on race, gender or other protected attributes. However, it is not uncommon for workers to be terminated or otherwise passed over for younger workers within an organization. This happens at companies of all sizes and regardless of a person's salary.
Companies such as Ikea, Facebook and Citibank have been in the news for being named defendants in civil lawsuits. Other major corporations to face legal action include Google and Marriott. Generally speaking, age discrimination tends to impact minorities who work for low wages. This can have serious implications on their ability to provide for themselves financially. In an article published in The Atlantic, it was revealed that 10 million Americans aged 50 and older live on $11,800 or less per year.
Of those who are employed, 13.2 million can barely afford to provide themselves with the basics such as food, medicine and heat. There are more than 10,000 people who are turning 65 each day. Therefore, people in this age range will form the largest candidate pool from which employers can choose from. Ideally, they will create programs that will make it possible for older workers to thrive.
If an employee is terminated or otherwise marginalized because of his or her age, it could be a violation of employment law. An attorney may be able to help a worker pursue a charge with the EEOC or the applicable state agency. This may make it possible to obtain compensation or other relief. Evidence of ageism may include statements from a manager or data that suggests younger workers are hired or promoted more often than older workers.