Age Discrimination in the Remote Work Era: What Employees Need to Know

Over the years, remote work has grown increasingly popular, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic hit, many companies were forced to shift to remote work to protect their employees’ health. This trend continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic having ended. Today, many people continue to work from home, with others working from other locations, such as coffee shops and co-working spaces.  

While some might think there is no room for age discrimination in the remote work era, the truth is that people still get discriminated against on the basis of their age, even in the remote work era. This article discusses some crucial things employees need to know about age discrimination in the remote work era.

Remote Work Can Make Age Discrimination Worse

Technology advancements are what make remote work possible. For example, when an employer needs to hold a meeting with their remote workers, they use an online meeting platform. Because remote work entails the use of technology, it can lead to older workers being fired because they are perceived to be less capable of handling technology. Older workers are also perceived as being hesitant to favor digital communication over face-to-face interaction. For example, during the pandemic year, older workers were the first in line when it came to layoffs and reduced hours.

Age Discrimination is Illegal

You need to keep in mind that age discrimination is unlawful. In California, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit discrimination against employees who are aged 40 or older. 

Remote Work Policies Must Be in Line With Anti-Discrimination Laws

If you are a remote worker, you need to ensure your employer’s remote work policies are in line with anti-discrimination laws. Are there definitions of discrimination and a list of protected characteristics, including age? In California, other protected characteristics include race, national origin, religion, color, disability, and sex. Does the policy include clear examples of what constitutes age discrimination? Also, are there clear procedures for reporting, investigating, and addressing discrimination complaints?

Seek Legal Help

If you believe you have been a victim of age discrimination, contacting an employment attorney is in your best interests. If, for example, you were fired after a company shifted from working in an office space to remote work and believe you were fired because of your age, you should contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help protect your legal rights. They can help you understand your legal options. A qualified employment lawyer can help you file a legal claim (if necessary) and fight for the justice and financial compensation you deserve.

Documentation Is Important

Finally, employees should know that documentation is vital after an incident of age discrimination. Ensure you maintain any correspondence between you and your employer and get copies of your company policies. If you receive a memo or letter, keep it safe.

Contact a California Employment Lawyer

If you need more information or believe you have been a victim of age discrimination, contact a California employment lawyer.