DATE: August 13, 2002
TO: Board of Supervisors
SUBJECT: Preventing Age Discrimination
The Fair Employment and Housing Act clearly states that it is unlawful for an employer to engage in certain employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex or sexual orientation (Government Code Section 12940). The one category that is missing from this list is discrimination in certain employment practices on the basis of age. AB1599 (Negrete McLeod) would add “age” to this list of categories and make it unlawful for an employer to engage in certain employment practices that discriminate against individuals on the basis of age.
Vice Chairman Greg Cox:
- Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to draft a letter for the Chairman’s signature to Assembly Member Negrete McLeod and the County’s State Legislative Delegation in support of AB 1599 (Negrete McLeod).
- Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to authorize the County’s Sacramento Representative to advocate the County’s position of support for AB 1599 to interested parties and the Administration.
AB1599 (Negrete McLeod) was based on the court case Esberg v. UNOCAL, in which an employee who was over the age of 40 was not able to participate in an employer-funded education assistance program because his supervisor commented that he was “too old to invest in.” Younger employees were able to receive financial aid for their education programs but Mr. Esberg was not because of his age.
Section 12940 (a) is the State’s anti-discrimination statute that relates to virtually every category except age. Race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex or sexual orientation are all categories included in the State’s anti-discrimination statute and AB1599 would add “age” to this statute.
Individuals over the age of 40 should not be left out of the anti-discrimination statutes in California.
I urge your support!