The Age Discrimination in Employment Act

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The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), signed and enacted in 1967, aims to protect individuals forty or older from discriminatory practices based on age in the workplace. Private employers with 20 or more employers are subject to the provisions of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Labor organizations, employment agencies, and federal, state, and local governments must also follow the guidelines of the ADEA. The essential purpose of the ADEA is to eliminate the prejudices that haunt older workers in the job market, and provide a remedy for persons who have been affected in the workplace due to their age. Likewise, the legislators who oversaw the drafting of the ADEA acknowledged that if the negative stereotyping persists regarding the ability and skills of older workers, then the national economy would dramatically suffer because displaced older workers would increase the need for unemployment benefits and government assistance. Moreover, discrimination based on age has a tremendous emotional cost on the spirit and esteem of the individuals affected. Furthermore, there is no evidence that supports the claim that an older worker will not perform as well in the workplace as a younger worker. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the regulatory agency responsible for investigating and managing age discrimination claims that arise under the ADEA.

Employers are prohibited from doing a number of things according to the terms of the Act. Employers cannot fail or refuse to hire an employee because of that person's age. They cannot limit, segregate, or classify its employees in a way that would deprive someone of employment opportunities because of their age. Also, they cannot reduce the wage rate of an employee based on their age. Finally, employers cannot indicate in notices or job advertisements a preference for a person of a certain age. Victims of age discrimination are subject to remedies found in the ADEA. These remedies...
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