Understanding the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1986

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1986 (ADEA) is a federal law that protects individuals aged 40 and over from discrimination in the workplace. It prohibits employers from refusing to hire, firing, or otherwise discriminating against a person based on their age with respect to their compensation, terms, conditions, or employment privileges. It also prohibits employers from limiting, segregating, or classifying employees in any way that could deprive them of employment opportunities or adversely affect their status as an employee due to their age. The ADEA was signed into law by President Lyndon B.

Johnson in 1967 and this year marks its 50th anniversary. The overall effect of the amendments has been to expand the law and protect older workers from outdated assumptions and stereotypes that can act as barriers to employment. Under the ADEA, employers are prohibited from printing or publishing any notice or advertisement related to their employment or membership that states any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination on the basis of age. Employers must also publish and maintain a notice in visible places in their facilities that is prepared or approved by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

This notice must include information deemed appropriate by the EEOC to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The EEOC will also conduct a study on the effects of the amendments introduced to this section by the amendments to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1978, and the effects of section 631 (b) of this title. It is not illegal for an employer, employment agency, or labor organization to take certain actions such as relying on an occupational qualification reasonably necessary for normal operation; relying on a seniority system; relying on employee benefit plans; or dismissing or disciplining an employee for good cause. However, they must demonstrate that such actions are lawful in any civil enforcement proceeding initiated under this chapter.

If an employer controls a corporation whose place of incorporation is in a foreign country, any practice of that corporation prohibited under this section shall be presumed to be such practice on the part of that employer. The prohibitions in this section do not apply when the employer is a foreign person who is not controlled by a U. S. employer.

Cornelius Maxon
Cornelius Maxon

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