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While tech and related fields used to be dominated by younger employees, the average age of the workforce in Palo Alto has increased. Unfortunately, older workers often face challenges in finding and keeping jobs. As you may have experienced, age discrimination has been shown to have a significant impact on older workers. Our Palo Alto age discrimination lawyers are dedicated to combating age discrimination and have taken on some of the country’s largest companies in age discrimination lawsuits. 

What Is Age Discrimination?

Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee unfairly due to age with respect to:

  • Hiring,
  • Compensation,
  • Terms of employment,
  • Work conditions,
  • Retention,
  • Job assignments,
  • Employment policies and practices,
  • Promotions,
  • Training, and
  • Support and resources. 

Age discrimination is illegal under federal and California state law. It can be subtle, making it hard to notice and address. Our Palo Alto age discrimination attorneys can review your case and help you determine whether your employer’s actions are illegal.

What Are Some Examples of Age Discrimination?

A Palo Alto age discrimination lawsuit could arise in a variety of circumstances, such as:

  • An employer promotes a younger and less experienced employee instead of an older employee. The older employee has more appropriate qualifications.
  • An employer gives an older employee less responsibility over time until the employer demotes the employee for no reason.
  • A company makes layoffs and targets the older employees in the company.
  • A company has a policy of not hiring managers with over 20 years of experience. 

Whether an employment action is discriminatory depends on the case’s unique facts. 

Which Employers Can Be Held Responsible for Age Discrimination?

Under federal law, employers with 20 or more employees may be held liable for age discrimination in employment. 

Under California law, employers who regularly employ 5 or more people can be held liable for age discrimination in employment. 

Governmental entities, no matter their size, are prohibited from discriminating based on age in employment.

Which Workers Are Protected?

Employees and applicants who are at least 40 years old are protected from age discrimination under both federal and state law. However, the following workers are not covered by the laws prohibiting age discrimination:

  • Independent contractors;
  • Individuals employed by their parents, spouse, or child; and
  • Volunteers.

Our Palo Alto age discrimination lawyers can help you determine whether you are protected under federal, state, or local laws.

How Do I Enforce My Rights as a Worker?

To initiate an action under federal law, an employee must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This must happen within 180 days of the discriminatory act. If the matter is not resolved, the employee can obtain a right-to-sue letter. The employee can then file a civil action against the employer within 90 days of receiving the right-to-sue letter.

If an employee is bringing a claim under state law, they must first file a complaint with California’s Civil Rights Department. The complaint must be filed within one year of the unlawful act. If the complaint is not resolved and the employee obtains a right-to-sue letter from the Civil Rights Department, then they have one year to file a civil action.

How Can King & Siegel LLP Help?

Experiencing age discrimination in employment can be frightening, humiliating, and challenging. Studies have shown that discrimination has a significant impact on those who suffer from it. This is unsurprising: we spend much of our lives at work, and older workers often have dedicated dozens of years to achieving excellence in their field. The attorneys at King & Siegel LLP have a reputation for fiercely advocating for their clients and offering dependable legal advice. 

Sharing Expert Knowledge

We are trained to understand all aspects of the federal and state laws and regulations related to age discrimination in employment. Our experienced age discrimination attorneys can help you understand your rights under the law. 

Conducting Investigations

Gathering relevant information is necessary when taking legal action. We have extensive experience collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and building a case.

Navigating the Legal Process

Our skilled and experienced Palo Alto age discrimination attorneys can assist you with:

  • Understanding the law,
  • Meeting filing requirements, and
  • Understanding and managing time limits.

Pursuing a Palo Alto age discrimination lawsuit can be substantively and procedurally complicated. We can help.

Obtaining Fair Outcomes

Whether we settle your grievance with the employer or take the action to court, we will diligently work to help ensure an outcome that closely meets your professional and financial expectations. 


Are Job Applicants Protected Against Age Discrimination?

Yes, anti-discrimination laws extend to job applicants. A job applicant is someone who files a written application or shows a desire to be considered for employment.⁠

Can an Employer Ever Lawfully Discriminate Based upon Age?

Yes, an employer may be able to avoid an age discrimination claim if it can show that age is a bona fide occupational qualification. 

A bona fide occupational qualification:

  • Excludes a group of individuals on the basis of age,
  • Is justified as necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the business, and
  • Fulfills a business purpose.

Examples of a bona fide occupational qualification include:

  • Imposing a mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots, or
  • Requiring older physicians to retire pursuant to the bylaws of a professional medical corporation.

Additionally, an employer can discriminate against individuals under 40 years old based on age. 

What Remedies Are Available to California Workers Who Experience Age Discrimination?

Remedies can differ. They may include back pay, reinstatement of employment, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees, and injunctive relief.

Can My Employer Retaliate Against Me If I File a Complaint Against Them for Age Discrimination?

No, it is unlawful for an employer to take an adverse employment action against an employee for asserting their rights.

King & Siegal LLP Can Answer Your Questions About Age Discrimination

Everyone deserves the opportunity to earn a living free from unfair treatment. Our Palo Alto age discrimination lawyers are here to help you if you experience unfair and intolerable treatment at work. Our litigators were educated by some of the top law schools and trained at the top litigation firms in the country. Our talent and experience have allowed us to win millions in damages for our clients. Contact us today for help.

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