Age Discrimination Claims Remain Popular

by Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP
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EmpBlog-5.9.2013-dalmationMarc Santos and Geraldo Zaffa are two firefighters who filed a lawsuit against the Milpitas Fire Department for alleged age discrimination. The two men were placed on a list of qualified state and local firefighters by the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee. The list is maintained for those who have been terminated as a consequence of job elimination. Hiring preference is supposed to go to those at the “top” of the list for workers that have been displaced or out of work the longest. Both men sought positions at the Milpitas Fire Department, which participates in the list. When they were not hired, they filed the lawsuit.

Santos and Zaffa are older than 40, and contend were not hired in favor of younger applicants. According to the lawsuit, when the department reviewed other applicants the fact that Santos and Zaffa were over 40 years of age were substantial factors in the decision not to hire. The city believes that the allegations are completely and utterly without merit, and has vowed to defend the case.

The case serves as a reminder that age discrimination claims remain among the most frequently filed employment disputes. Of the 18,335 employment cases filed in 2010 with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, one-fifth cited age discrimination. In terms of popularity, that puts age below retaliation as a claim, but above racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual orientation.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP.  It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked.  So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again.  This is commentary people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing.  No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits).  But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you.  And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry).  Big news: Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it.  If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department, at (310) 281-6348 or kscott@ecjlaw.com.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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