The age discrimination in employment act

6 June 2016

Part 1625 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Chapter XIV is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) specifies that it is unlawful for a covered employer to  discriminate in “hiring or in any other way by giving preference because of age between individuals 40 and over.” Essentially this act forbids firing, refusing to hire or to promote, or treating an individual differently because of age (Code).

Some odd conclusions can be drawn from this peculiarly constructed sentence. The ADEA does not merely forbid giving a preference to an individual under the age of forty over another individual who is forty or over, it prohibits the use of age as a criterion for decision making at all; this includes decisions about two employees or prospective employees aged forty or more. Unlike earlier quota type systems that might be satisfied by having a named number or percentage of minority race members, the ADEA forbids choosing between two people both of whom are age forty or more.

The age discrimination in employment act Essay Example

The ADEA applies to employers with twenty or more employees including federal, state, and local governments, unions, and employment agencies. The law does not protect all jobs. It does not normally apply to police forces and firepersons. The law does not protect elected officials, federal law enforcement officers, and air traffic controllers. Since it deals only with employees, the ADEA does not protect independent contractors. In certain cases jobs that demand by their nature a person of a particular age are not protected either: for example, a movie acting role that requires someone who can convincingly portray an eight-year-old (AARP).

The ADEA forbids employers use of advertisements that mention age or that suggest that a particular age is preferable. Employers may not set up age requirements for trainees for job positions to avoid paying for training of someone who may retire within a short period of time. The protects employees or prospective employees who file a complaint asserting age discrimination; employers cannot take action against such people.

Under most employment environments employers cannot force a covered employee to retire (AARP), however executives sixty-five years or older who will receive retirements benefits from the company of at least forty thousand dollars a year (Workplace Age).

Interestingly, the ADEA lacks a specific prohibition against an employer asking potential employees what their age is, however such questions are subject to scrutiny to make certain the questions were asked for legal purposes instead of for reasons forbidden by the ADEA.

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