It’s been a little over 50 years since Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which is supposed to protect employees in California and elsewhere from age-related discrimination in the workplace. However, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, many employers still show bias against older workers. As a result, the agency has started aggressively combating the issue.

One of the cases the EEOC pursued involved Texas Roadhouse, which allegedly had a history of denying front-of-the-house positions to applicants ages 40 years and older. The agency filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2011, and the company recently settled the case for $12 million. It also agreed to change its hiring and recruitment practices to include older workers.

The acting chair of the EEOC says that members of Generation X are now in their 40s and early 50s, which means they’re starting to experience age discrimination in the workplace. This is backed up by a new AARP survey that found around 60 percent of workers age 45 and older have either suffered age discrimination or seen it happen to others. In order to protect themselves from discrimination, the EEOC recommends that older workers keep their job skills updated, be prepared to show employers that they’re still talented and in touch with current trends and consider taking legal action if they’re discriminated against.

California employees who believe that they are victims of age-related workplace discrimination may contact an employment attorney for advice. The attorney may be able to review the situation and determine the best way to obtain relief. For example, legal counsel might recommend filing an age discrimination complaint with the state or the EEOC, which may result in a financial settlement.

Source: Market Watch, “Why the EEOC is zealous on age discrimination,” Chris Farrell, Aug. 27, 2018