Even though it is illegal for employers in California to discriminate against employees on the basis of age, this type of prejudicial treatment still occurs regularly in the workplace. However, just 3 percent of older adults who experience age discrimination file a complaint against their employer, according to research from AARP.
Although it is difficult to determine the prevalence of age discrimination in the workplace, studies estimate that up to 60 percent of workers age 45 or older have experienced it. Other studies have shown that the vast majority of older workers say that discriminatory behavior is common. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated that the number of age discrimination charges has continued to rise. Age discrimination is particularly prevalent in certain industries, such as the tech industry in Silicon Valley. In fact, it was found that chances of getting hired in Silicon Valley sharply decreased once a worker turned 30.
When it comes to age discrimination charges, the demographics have also shifted. In 1990, the majority of claims were coming from men. By 2017, charges coming from women outnumbered the claims made by men. Similarly, the number of charges made by black workers rose from 14 percent to 27 percent between 1990 and 2017.
Discrimination and harassment in the workplace can have a number of impacts on both the workers and the company. In some cases, discriminatory behavior can cause an employee to not be able to reach their full potential. An employee who faces workplace prejudice on the basis of age, sex, gender, race or religion may have options. An attorney could help a worker file a claim against the employer.