As an older woman over 40 being discriminated against in the workplace, it can feel extremely lonely and frightening to go up against your employer and report age discrimination, unless, of course, you hire a Los Angeles discrimination attorney (in that case, having an experienced lawyer by your side can solve most of your problems).
If you are (a) a woman, (b) over 40, and (c) being discriminated against on the basis of age or suspect that you are being discriminated because of your age, there are many things you can (and should) do to stop what could potentially be unlawful conduct on the part of your employer, supervisor, or coworkers.
We invited our discrimination attorney Los Angeles from JML Law to outline a guide for an older woman who is being discriminated against on the basis of age.
Address your employer (or the person who discriminated against you)
Before filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or filing a discrimination lawsuit against your employer, consider a less radical option. What if addressing the person who has discriminated against you can solve the problem in an instant?
Unfortunately, many employees in Los Angeles and all across California overlook this option and go straight to filing a complaint without giving the person who allegedly discriminated against them a chance to explain his or her actions or correct what could potentially be discriminatory behavior in the workplace.
For example, if your employer denied your promotion and promoted someone much younger than you, consider addressing your employer to find out why the employer made this particular decision and why your coworker might be a more suitable candidate to do the job than you are.
This is the same conversation you and your employer would have in court had you filed a discrimination lawsuit against him or her. So why not have this conversation in a more relaxed and friendly environment before things get messy? (In fact, what if it turns out that things do not have to get messy?).
Report internally, then go to EEOC
While some discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles advise to go straight to the EEOC to submit your claim, do not jump the gun just yet. If you want to score yourself extra points and do it the right way, follow the reporting process established by your company.
It is highly advised to bring your discrimination complaint with your company internally first. As a first step, it is recommended to go to your company’s HR department and report age discrimination. If your employer does not have HR department or the HR department ignores your complaint, you have legitimate grounds to file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC.
Filing a complaint on the basis of age discrimination
Do keep in mind that under California law, you have 6 months or 180 days to file a charge. Our Los Angeles discrimination attorney reminds readers that your case must meet several criteria in order for you to be considered eligible to sue your employer for age discrimination.
First and foremost, you must be over the age of 40. Secondly, you must be able to prove that you have become the victim of age discrimination in any of the following areas in the hiring process or in the course of your employment:
- Job assignments
- Any other term or condition of your employment
Before filing a charge, it is recommended to consult with a discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California to determine whether filing a charge is the right course of action in your particular case.
If your employer retaliates against you for filing a discrimination complaint, you can file a separate charge alleging retaliation. Consult with our lawyers at JML Law by calling at 818-610-8800. Get a free case evaluation today.