- Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Pub. L. No. 90-202, 81 Stat. 602 (Dec. 15, 1967), codified as Chapter 14 of Title 29 of the
United States Code, usc|29|621 through usc|29|634 (ADEA), prohibits employment discriminationagainst persons 40 years of age or older in the United States(see usc|29|631(a)). The law also sets standards for pensionsand benefits provided by employers and requires that information about the needs of older workers be provided to the general public.
The ADEA includes a broad ban against age discrimination and also specifically prohibits:
* Discrimination in hiring, promotions, wages, or firing/layoffs.
* Statements or specifications in job notices or advertisements of age preference and limitations.
* Denial of benefits to older employees. An employer may reduce benefits based on age only if the cost of providing the reduced benefits to older workers is the same as the cost of providing full benefits to younger workers.
* Since 1978 it has prohibited mandatory retirement in most sectors, with phased elimination of mandatory retirement for tenured workers, such as college professors, in 1993.
Mandatory retirement based on age is permitted for only one reason:
* Executives over age 65 in high policy-making positions who are entitled to a pension over a minimum yearly amount.
Creation and Amendments
Written in 1967, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Pub. L. No. 90-202, 81 Stat. 602 (Dec. 15, 1967), codified as Chapter 14 of Title 29 of the
United States Code, usc|29|621 through usc|29|634 (ADEA), prohibits employment discriminationagainst persons 40 years of age or older in the United States(see usc|29|631(a)). It also applied to standards for pensionsand benefits provided by employers and requires that information about the needs of older workers be provided to the general public.
The ADEA was later amended in 1986 and again in 1991 by the
Older Workers Benefit Protection Act(Pub. L. 101-433) and the Civil Rights Act of 1991(P.L. 102-166).
The ADEA differs from the Civil Rights Act in that the ADEA applies to employers of 20 or more employees (see usc|29|630(b)) rather than 15 or more employees, thus providing less protection. Both acts do, however, only apply to employers in industries affecting interstate commerce. The 20 employees can include overseas employees [http://finduslaw.com/morelli_v_cedel_2nd_cir_1998_141_f3d_39_45 Morelli v. Cedel (2nd Cir. 1998) 141 F3d 39, 45] .
The ADEA protects US citizens working for US employers operating abroad except where it would violate the laws of that country - [http://finduslaw.com/age_discrimination_in_employment_act_of_1967_adea_29_u_s_code_chapter_14#23 ADEA 29 USC §§623(f)(1)] , per [http://finduslaw.com/mahoney_v_rfe_rl_inc_dc_cir_1994_47_f3d_447 Mahoney v. RFE/RL, Inc (DC Cir. 1994) 47 F3d 447, 449] .
An age limit may be legally specified in the circumstance where age has been shown to be a "
bona fide occupational qualifications reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business" (BFOQ) (see usc|29|623(f)(1)). In practice, BFOQs for age are limited to the obvious (hiring a young actor to play a young character in a movie) or when public safety is at stake (for example, in the case of age limits for pilots and bus drivers).
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act does not forbid favoring the young over the old, but it does prohibit having a discriminatory preference for the young over the old [http://finduslaw.com/general_dynamics_land_systems_inc_v_cline_540_u_s_581_2004_124_s_ct_1236 (General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline, 540 U.S. 581 (2004) 124 S.Ct. 1236)] .
The case of
2008U.S. Supreme Court ruling Gomez-Perez v. Potterallowed federal workers who experience retaliation as a result of reporting age discrimination under the law to sue for damages.
ADEA remedies include reinstatement and back pay for employee or damages if reinstatement is not feasible and/or employer's violation is intentional.
[http://finduslaw.com/age_discrimination_in_employment_act_of_1967_adea_29_u_s_code_chapter_14#23 Section 623 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act] discusses the defenses to ADEA claims as follows:
* Employers may enforce waivers of age discrimination claims made without EEOC or court approval if the waiver is "knowing or voluntary." [http://finduslaw.com/blakeney_v_lomas_information_systems_inc_5th_cir_1995_65_f3d_482 Blakeney v. Lomas Information Systems, Inc. (5th Cir. 1995) 65 F3d 482, 484] .
* Valid arbitration agreements between employers and employees covering the dispute are subject to compulsory arbitration and no court action can be brought. [http://finduslaw.com/gilmer_v_interstate_johnson_lane_corporation_1991_500_us_20_111_s_ct_1647 Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corporation (1991) 500 US 20, 26, 111 S.Ct. 1647, 1652] .
* Employers can
dischargeor disciplinean employee for "good cause," regardless of the employee's age.
* Employers can take an action based on "reasonable factors other than age."
* Bona fide occupational qualifications, seniority systems, employee benefit or early retirement plans.
* Voluntary early retirement incentives.
* [http://finduslaw.com/age_discrimination_in_employment_act_of_1967_adea_29_u_s_code_chapter_14 Text of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967]
* [http://www.aarpmagazine.org/lifestyle/Articles/a2003-05-21-mag-agediscrimination.html Fighting Ageism, Through the Ages]
* [http://www.hrlawindex.com Synopses of Age Discrimination Law Cases]
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