Federal Employment Law - Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

Day 4

Good day! We’re on to the third federal employment law, which would sit well with the “not so young” people out there.

Apparently, the expression “Life begins at 40” agrees with the law. People aged 40 and above can still contribute to the economy as a part of the U.S. workforce, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 sees to it that they are treated equally.

According to the EEOC, this acts “protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age” This applies to all employment aspects. If you recall our discussion in day 2, we already enumerated these aspects, namely - hiring, promotion, wages, firing, use of facilities, and benefits. Simply put, age shouldn’t be a factor in these circumstances.

Who are covered under this act? Well, any company that has more than 20 employees should comply.

Under the act, there are other venues where age discrimination are not allowed. First, in apprenticeship programs. It would be illegal not to allow mature people to participate in these programs.

Second, in job advertisements. An age limit should not be indicated in the qualifications of job postings. Imagine how alienated a 40-year old would feel if every ad he sees has “must be 25-30 years old” qualification. Where’s the opportunity? The truth is, these mature jobseekers could bring in a wealth of experience.

If the company can prove that age is a "bona fide occupational qualification" for the job, then including an age limit permitted. A job that requires an outgoing personality, say real estate agent, may sit well with a younger applicant, not with a 50 year old.

Thanks to the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was redefined to make sure that older workers are granted with benefits.

So mature employees and applicants who are still capable of working efficiently need not worry. The law sides with them.

Still, we must be aware of the scope of the act’s coverage. Companies could have a policy of compulsory retirement, where employees have to retire when they reach a certain age, normally at age 70. This only sounds reasonable, since age 70 would be way past an individual’s prime.

Another exception of termination would be failure to meet the standards of the job. You wouldn’t expect a company to keep an employee who just can’t cut the mustard.

That’s about it for today. Tomorrow, we will study the law that covers the handicapped, Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Ciao! Have a nice day!

For further reading, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website

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