What Constitutes Age Discrimination in the Workplace?

Author: Alexandra Roberts

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Summary: A look at what constitutes age discrimination in the workplace and disparate impact.

Tags: What constitutes age discrimination, what does disparate impact mean, what age does age descrimination begin

Age discrimination in the workplace refers to those employees over the age of 40.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects individuals from being discriminated against based on their age.  Under the act,

These cases can be hard to prove as the complainant must prove that there is a discriminatory motive behind a method of conducting business that has created a disparate impact.  A disparate impact means that the employer has purposely and knowingly set into motion a method of conducting business that may seem neutral but in fact discriminates against employees based on age.  The proof of burden lies on the plaintiff.

The act also provides protection from an employee being retaliated against for previously filing an age discrimination claim.

What Actions Constitute Age Discrimination in the Workplace?

The following is an at-a-glance broad overview. For an in-depth look at the act, refer to the link provided to the full act at the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.

ADEA Specifically Prohibits the Following Actions:

Job listings with specific age limitations.

Apprenticeship programs outlining age limitations.

Terminating or failing to hire based on age. This includes compensation, terms, conditions, and privileges of employment based on age.

Depriving employment opportunities based on age.

Reducing the wage rate of an older employee.

Denying benefits to older employees.  The employer may reduce benefits to older employees to match the cost of providing benefits to younger employees.

Retaliating against an employee for previously filing an age discrimination claim.


Works Cited

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination: Questions AndAnswers

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"What Constitutes Age Discrimination in the Workplace?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/age-discrimination-in-the-workplace.html>.  

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