The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age & older from discrimination on the basis of Age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment. While the law was passed long ago, the problems it was created to address unfortunately still exist: Ageism is still much too common in the workplace.

According to the ADEA, the following actions are unlawful:

  • An employer can't decide whether or not to hire applicants because of their age. And, cannot discriminate based on this factor when recruiting job candidates, advertising for a job, or testing applicants.
  • A company can't fire workers because of their age.
  • An employer can't use age to classify, segregate, or limit employees if this will negatively affect their status or deprive them of advancement opportunities.
  • Workers' pay can't be based on age.
  • An employer may only take age into account when making an employment-related decision if it is in regard to an authentic qualification necessary for the business's operation.
  • One's manager, a supervisor in another area, a coworker, or client is forbidden from creating a hostile work environment by harassing individuals about their age.
  • An employer cannot enact any policy that negatively impacts employees or applicants because of their age and is not based on another reasonable factor.
  • An amendment to the ADEA, The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act forbids organizations from using age to determine benefits and targeting older workers when making staff cuts. It also requires employers to follow specific safeguards when asking older workers to sign a waiver giving up their right to sue for age discrimination.

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