If a California job seeker over the age of 40 does not get a position that he or she applied for, it could be the result of discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act makes it illegal to discriminate against a worker over the age of 40 based on his or her age. However, it may be difficult to prove that a company passed on a person because he or she was deemed to be too old.
One way to show that age discrimination took place is if a company hires someone who is younger and less qualified for a position. This may be difficult to establish as an individual may not know who was ultimately hired to fill a specific position. If a company chooses to recruit mostly though colleges to establish a younger work culture, that may also be a sign that age discrimination has taken place.
Companies may choose to hire workers who only have two or three years of experience, which means that older workers are less likely to be hired. Finally, age discrimination may be possible to prove if the human resources department chooses to act as whistleblower. It is important to note that the Eleventh Circuit has ruled that these rules only apply to employees and not applicants, which could reduce the odds of success in court.
While employers may be violating employment law by not hiring those over 40, it may be difficult to prove that discrimination has taken place. An attorney may be able to use employment records, statements from hiring managers or employment listings to show that a company may have engaged in illegal activities. If a claim is successful, an individual may be entitled to receive compensation for lost wages or in the form of punitive damages.