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What does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protect?

The Age of Discrimination in Employment Act, or ADEA, was implemented in 1967 to protect employees and applicants who are 40 and older from employment discrimination based on their age. The ADEA must be adhered to by private companies with 20 or more employees as well as local and state governments, labor organizations, employment agencies and the federal government.

Which actions are prohibited by the ADEA?

According to the ADEA, it is illegal to discriminate against an individual because of their age in regard to any condition, term or privilege of employment. This includes hiring and firing decisions, layoffs, promotions, benefits, compensation, job assignments and job training. The ADEA also indicates that it is unlawful to harass an older employee because of the worker’s age.

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against a person for complaining about employment practices that are based on age discrimination or for filing an age discrimination charge, cooperating with an investigation or testifying in a trial pertaining to the charge. Under the ADEA, employers are permitted to favor older employees based on their age even if these actions will affect a younger employee who is 40 years of age or older.

Additional ADEA protections

It is illegal to discriminate against a person based on age in job ads or notices. Employers are only permitted to use age limits if the age is shown to be a “bona fide occupational qualification” and pertains to the operation of the company.

Businesses that are offering apprenticeship programs are also not permitted to discriminate based on age. Age limits are only permitted if there are specific exceptions outlined by the ADEA or if the EEOC grants an exemption.

Speaking with a qualified attorney in Texas with experience in age discrimination may let you know if you have been denied employment or promotion because of your age. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner you can file a claim if necessary.