Age-Discrimination-in-Hiring-and-Promotion-in-the-Workplace.jpg (2149×1159)Many companies tend to want to hire younger workers whom they can train and groom in their own way. That leaves out many experienced people who may have lost their jobs during the economic slowdown. Many companies prefer to ignore seniority in the sequence of promotion to favor younger employees as well. Similar discrimination blocks the careers of many younger workers. This arbitrary systemic discrimination on the basis of age, in most cases, violates federal and state anti-discrimination law and can be grounds for civil legal action.

In a recent social experiment, economist David Neumark and his colleagues at the University of California created more than 40,000 realistic but fictitious resumes that were all alike, except that the age and gender were changed. They submitted the resumes online to apply for more than 13,000 mostly low skilled jobs. What they found was that the percentage response to the resumes went significantly down as the age went up. The effect was more profound for women than men.

This study demonstrates a dangerous schism between social reality and emerging social policy. The population of the United States is getting older. The social security system that supports former employees is expected to come under strain and policy has been directed at keeping older employees on the job longer to reduce the overall demand for social security payouts. The findings suggest that anyone over the age of 63 will have a 6 percent smaller chance of getting a response to their resume (over a wide spectrum of jobs) than someone between 29 and 31. Demonstrable resume-response age discrimination also shows up under the retirement age category. Applicants between 49 and 51 years of age are nearly 2 percent less likely to have a response to their resumes than those between 29 and 31. The study demonstrates significant age discrimination, even at the preliminary hiring stage, bound to get worse in the face-to-face interview stage.

Age is one of the seven parameters (race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability) named in civil rights legislation at both state and federal levels along which discrimination is prohibited. Fair employment legislation is a long-standing standard in the United States, originally signed as Executive Order 8802 by Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 25, 1941. The order, also called the Fair Employment Act prohibited certain discrimination in war-related industries and established the Fair Employment Practices Commission to ensure the act was carried out. Anti-discrimination in employment law has undergone regular development for more than three-quarters of a century. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 specifically prohibits discrimination against individuals who are over 40 years of age. All of the anti-discrimination laws are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC).

How does age discrimination look?

Fighting Age Discrimination:

A person who thinks he or she has been discriminated against because of age, is one among many. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) reports that the incidence of age discrimination has increased over the years. In 2006, the EEOC processed 16,548 claims of age discrimination. In 2009, the number was 22,778. However, the senior attorney for the AARP claims this is just the tip of the iceberg. Recent federal court rulings have made the criteria for proof of age discrimination more stringent. This discouraged many would-be plaintiffs away from pursuing their cases.

If you feel have been discriminated against and want to file an age discrimination complaint you will be engaged in a civil suit for damages. Age discrimination is a civil, not a criminal matter. You will have to sue the party that discriminated against you, and you will need to meet a high standard of proof to prove your case. You should begin collecting evidence immediately, including a journal in which you can collect statements and other evidence. You will need an experienced lawyer to help.

Aiman-Smith & Marcy is a high-performance, boutique law firm with a special interest in eradicating unethical business practices of some large corporations. Our clients are employees, consumers, and businesses who have been the victims. Please contact us to learn more.

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Lisseth Bayona


Education and Background

I am a Los Angeles native and daughter of Salvadorian immigrants. From an early age, my parents instilled the value of hard work and education in me and my two siblings. Their perseverance enabled each of us to graduate from college and earn professional degrees.

My interest and commitment to workers’ rights have roots in my parents’ experiences as undocumented workers in Los Angeles. Witnessing the challenges they faced inspired me to pursue a career where I can help individuals confronted with similar struggles. To help someone in those moments is very satisfying. I love connecting with people and learning about their stories. I believe that dignity in the workplace is a right of all workers, not a convenience or privilege reserved for employees of a certain race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Legal Experience

I received my J.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law. While there, I served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Patrick J. Walsh of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where I drafted a criminal judicial opinion. Also, while at Gould, I served as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. As a Criminal Division Extern, I had the opportunity to work closely with a trial team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a money laundering case which further sparked my interest in litigation.

Personal Interests

In my free time, I enjoy urban vegetable gardening, traveling, and spending time with my nephew and niece. I also love to spend time at San Onofre Beach learning to surf, although admittedly, I am not very good.



Hallie L. Von Rock

Attorney (SBN 233152)

Education and Background

I moved to the Bay Area from Washington after graduating high school. I had been accepted to UC Berkeley through a program where I could defer for two years while getting my California residency and attending community college, which was significant since I was paying for college on my own. I began working for Randall Aiman-Smith and Reed Marcy in 1996 as an office manager while taking night classes. My first foray into the legal world was soon after starting at the firm when I was ready to transfer to UC Berkeley. Rather than accepting my resident status, the Board of Regents took the position that California residency required a student to be in California “two calendar years.” Randall and Reed took up my case with the same verve as they helped their actual clients and I got the chance to comb through the UC Berkeley library to read their codes and regulations to support my position. In that experience, I learned what is was like to feel helpless against a big organization and then to have dedicated attorneys in my corner to take up my cause.

After a break to pursue my major in art history, I went to UC Hastings College of Law and continued working with Randall and Reed. Having worked together now for over 25 years, we have a unique ability to work collaboratively and finish each other’s sentences. I have strived throughout my career to make a difference in the lives of our clients. At the end of the day, if I am helping someone to get compensation for losses they suffered, then I know that all the work put into a case has been worth it.

Legal Experience

I have extensive experience in civil litigation and class action cases, including conducting discovery and depositions, calculating damages analysis, preparing motions for certification, writing appellate documents, and overseeing claims administration. We have handled several class actions against retailers where plaintiffs claimed they were forced to purchase clothing to wear to work and were not compensated for these purchases, including against Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Uniqlo, Dollar Tree, and Ross. Recently, I was trial counsel in a defamation claim against Bank of America on behalf of a former employee who claimed the Bank blacklisted her with future employers. The jury found Bank of America liable, including for punitive damages.

Personal Interests

Aiman-Smith & Marcy has sponsored me in the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. When I race, I often wear a “Rockstar Ronan” shirt to support research for childhood cancer through The Ronan Thompson Foundation.


University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1999

Hastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., 2004

Randall Aiman-Smith

Abogado (SBN 124599)

Aiman-Smith & Marcy. Oakland consumer fraud attorneys.

Educación y antecedentes

Fui afortunado. A pesar de no haber terminado la escuela secundaria o la universidad, pude -aunque con mucho trabajo- ser admitido y sobresalir en una de las mejores escuelas de derecho del país: La Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Berkeley. Mientras estuve allí, tuve el privilegio de ser editor de la California Law Review y miembro del Moot Court Board, asesorando en la redacción de escritos y en la defensa de apelaciones a otros estudiantes. Después de salir de la escuela de derecho, en mis primeros años de práctica, enseñé la escritura legal y la defensa de apelación en la Universidad de California, Hastings College of the Law. También, a lo largo de los años, he sido presentador en eventos de educación legal continua.

Experiencia legal

He sido abogado durante 35 años. He dedicado mi práctica exclusivamente a representar a empleados, consumidores e inversores en los tribunales estatales y federales de primera instancia y en los tribunales de apelación. Me gusta ir a los tribunales por mis clientes y he llevado muchos casos con jurado en los tribunales estatales y federales.

¿Ejemplos? En 2010, fui la abogada principal, junto con los otros abogados del bufete, en el caso Williams v. Union Pacific Railroad donde, después de cuatro años de preparación, el bufete obtuvo un veredicto del jurado de 1.670.000 dólares para una empleada afroamericana. En Rivero v. Surdyka, fui el abogado principal en el juicio y la apelación de un caso de derechos civiles que duró 15 años, incluyendo un juicio completo y tres apelaciones al Noveno Circuito, concluyendo finalmente con una sentencia para los demandantes de más de 2.300.000 dólares. Estos casos ilustran el lema del bufete: compromiso – resultados. Hay que comprometerse con un caso, a veces durante mucho tiempo, para obtener el resultado que el cliente merece.

No siempre ganamos en el juicio. Cuando eso ocurre, el compromiso significa llevar el caso al siguiente nivel y recurrirlo. En el caso Rivero, antes mencionado, eso fue lo que ocurrió: el tribunal desestimó el caso -habíamos perdido- pero apelamos y conseguimos una victoria para nuestros clientes que mantuvimos a través de dos apelaciones más. Desde entonces, el bufete ha conseguido muchas victorias en apelación que reivindican los derechos de los empleados y los consumidores.

A lo largo de los años he sido abogado de los demandantes en numerosos casos individuales y acciones colectivas. Puede sonar cursi, o difícil de creer, pero después de todo este tiempo, y después de todas las grandes experiencias que he tenido, mi parte favorita de ser abogado es cuando consigo dar un cheque a mi cliente.



Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de California, Berkeley, J.D., 1986