Age Discrimination Legislation

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Age discrimination legislation is part of an unprecedented number of social legislation passed by the Johnson Administration after the death of President Kennedy.  It was known as the Great Society. This period saw the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Medicare and Medicaid, funding for elementary and secondary schools, transportation safety legislation and training for the poor.  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967(ADEA) was part of this legislation.

What does the act prohibit?

The ADEA prohibited discrimination against a person because of their age of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.  It also prohibits retaliation against an individual who opposes discriminatory employment practices, or for filing an age discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADEA.

What employers and employees are covered?

The ADEA applies to employers with twenty or more employers, local, state and federal governments, employment agencies and labor organizations.  The act applies to employees 40 and over. During the Regan Administration, the ADEA was amended to remove the age cap of 70 relating to the maximum age of employed worker protected by the act.  It was amended in 1991 to prohibit discrimination relating to benefits and retirement.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

If you think you have been a victim of age discrimination, consult a lawyer who specializes in employment law.  They can advise you on the strength or weakness of your case, give you information about what you need to prove and what timelines are important.  They can provide you with information on any rights you may have against age discrimination under state law.  State law may give you additional protections against age discrimination.


The ADEA was part of the social welfare legislation enacted under President Johnson’s “Great Society” in the 1960’s.  The ADEA was enacted to protect workers over the age of 40 for discrimination in employment.  It applies to employers with more than 20 employees, local, state, and federal governments, employment agencies, and labor organizations and state and federal agencies.