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Strategies to minimize potential age discrimination at work

As a California worker ages, he or she faces the risk of being pushed out by an employer. As a general rule, women are more likely to experience age discrimination than men. This is partially because of cultural perceptions that men get better with age while women become less valuable. While the law forbids age discrimination, proving it can be difficult.

To win a case involving alleged age discrimination, a worker would need to show that prejudice was the primary reason why an employer made a decision. Therefore, an employer could argue that it was simply terminating an older worker as part of an overall downsizing of operations. However, employees can take steps to make themselves too valuable to employers to let them go as they age.

For instance, a worker could figure out what a manager needs to be successful and then provide those resources. Employees could also choose to network with people of all age groups. This can make it easier to learn about new technology, new ways of doing business or just broaden a professional network in general.

Companies that make employment decisions such as hiring or promoting employees based on age may be violating federal employment law. An employee could use evidence such as a company terminating or demoting all older workers as proof that age was likely the primary factors in those decisions. Legal counsel may be able to gather evidence or take other steps in an effort to help an employee obtain a favorable outcome in a case.

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