Workers over age 40 form a strong backbone in today’s workforce. Sometimes, however, employers rely on baseless assumptions and unfounded stereotypes to deny older workers a fair shot in their careers. Federal and state law prohibits such discrimination.

Protecting The Backbone Of America’s Workforce

Age discrimination is an unfortunately prevalent reality in the workplace.  In fact, the law Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discriminating against employees past 49 years old. It is unlawful for an employer to discharge any individual or deny them their rights concerning their compensation, terms, conditions, or other employment privileges. If you are age 40 or older and have been treated unfairly because of your age, it is important to protect your rights by taking swift action. Short deadlines may limit your ability to seek legal recourse if you wait too long.

Act now to take advantage of a free consultation and case evaluation. Call 415-433-0444 or contact us online to speak with an experienced San Francisco Age Discrimination Attorney about your situation.

Standing Up Against Age-Based Workplace Discrimination

Age discrimination can take many forms. Common types of age discrimination include:

  • Refusing to hire older workers
  • Reassigning, demoting or transferring older workers
  • Paying older workers less for the same work
  • Refusing to provide older workers with benefits
  • Wrongfully terminating or firing older workers
  • Conducting layoffs that disproportionately affect older workers
  • Permitting a hostile work environment resulting from age-related harassment, jokes or unwanted comments
  • Retaliating against you for reporting discrimination

If you have experienced any of these adverse employment actions, know that you have rights. Don’t quit your job or fail to act out of fear of retaliation. Instead, consult with an employment lawyer.


As an employee and the victim, the first step in suing your employer is to file a written complaint to an administrative agency.  They should file the complaint to the State’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (the DFEH) if the complaint is under state law only. 

For age discrimination claims under federal law, employees can file their complaints to either the DFEH or the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

What Should a Formal Complaint Contain?

The following items must be included in your discrimination complaint:

  • Your full name, mailing address, and phone number
  • A brief summary of the discriminatory actions you believe occurred (for example, you were fired, demoted, or harassed)
  • Why do you think you were discriminated against (for example, because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 and up), handicap, genetic information, or reprisal)
  • A brief description of any injuries you’ve sustained
  • Your signature (or the signature of your lawyer)

San Francisco’s age discrimination attorneys can guide you through the various steps for internal and administrative reporting. If your case proceeds to court, we will be strong and zealous advocates for your rights.

We can guide you through the various steps for internal and administrative reporting. If your case proceeds to court, we will be strong and zealous advocates for your rights.

Short deadlines apply, so don’t let your rights slip away by waiting too long.  The age discrimination claim must be filed no later than a year from the alleged act’s date. However, it is best to file the complaint as soon as possible. You may be entitled to damages — in some cases, even substantial punitive damages. And may be entitled to the following: lost back pay and future pay,  recover the financial benefits you lost due to the discrimination, and emotional distress damages. 

Standing By Your Side · Contact Us For A Free Consultation

At The Cartwright Law Firm, our San Francisco Age Discrimination Attorneys are passionate about righting injustices and standing up for hardworking, everyday people like you. We only represent employees — not employers. For more than 60 years, our firm has helped underdogs attain compensation for the harm they have suffered.

Call us at 415-433-0444 for a free consultation and case evaluation. We represent employees in San Francisco and across the state.

Learn how to file a formal complaint to the EEOC here.
Learn more on how to file a complaint to the DFEH here