Does It Get Harder to Change Jobs When You Get Older?
In the dynamic employment landscape of Southern California, the challenges of job change are multifaceted, and they often intensify with age. As an employee in this region, understanding the implications of age discrimination and your rights as an older worker is crucial, especially when considering a career shift later in life. The law firm of Ochoa & Calderón, with its deep-rooted expertise in labor and employment claims, represents victims of age discrimination throughout Southern California. Call our Riverside employment lawyers if you are experiencing discrimination or harassment at work based on age or other protected characteristics.
The Reality of Job Changing with Age in Riverside
Age can play a surprisingly pivotal role in the job market. As you approach your 40s, 50s, and beyond, you might find that changing jobs becomes a more challenging endeavor. This difficulty can be attributed to various factors, including employer biases, the evolving skill market, and the rapid advancement of technology. Often, older employees face misconceptions about their adaptability, technological proficiency, and even long-term availability.
Recognizing Age Discrimination
Age discrimination in the workplace is not always overt. It can manifest in subtle ways, such as being overlooked for promotions, exclusion from important meetings, or receiving less favorable assignments. The key indicators include:
Disparate Treatment: When younger employees are consistently favored over older ones under similar circumstances.
Offhand Comments: Remarks about age, even in jest, can be indicative of an underlying discriminatory attitude.
Unjustified Performance Reviews: Receiving poorer performance evaluations without a valid basis, especially if you have a history of strong performance.
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides robust protections against age discrimination for individuals aged 40 and above. This act prohibits employers from engaging in discriminatory practices based on age in hiring, promotion, termination, or other terms of employment. Federal protections are also in place under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), but the California law covers more employers and employees and offers other benefits to workers not found in the federal law.
What to Do If You’re Experiencing Age Discrimination
If you suspect that you are a victim of age discrimination as an employee or job applicant, taking prompt and strategic action is vital. Here are the steps you should consider:
Document Everything: Keep a detailed record of instances that you believe demonstrate age discrimination. This includes emails, performance reviews, interviews, and notes about relevant conversations.
Report Internally: If your workplace has a procedure for reporting discrimination, use it. However, be cautious and aware of your rights while doing so.
Seek Legal Counsel: Contact an experienced employment law attorney who understands the complexities of age discrimination in Southern California. Law firms like Ochoa & Calderón specialize in representing employees in labor and employment claims and can provide the guidance and representation you need.
File a Claim: Your attorney can help you file a claim with the appropriate state or federal agency, such as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Don’t Let Subtle Age Discrimination Stand Between You and Your Future
Changing jobs later in life can be more challenging due to age discrimination, a reality that is often subtle yet significant. Understanding your rights and the legal protections available to you is the first step in combating this form of discrimination. If you believe you are facing age-related challenges in your employment, do not hesitate to reach out to the skilled attorneys at Ochoa & Calderón, who are dedicated to advocating for your rights and guiding you through the complexities of employment law. For a free consultation to share your concerns and learn about your options, call us at 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 throughout Southern California.