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Age Discrimination at Work

This article contains information excerpted from the United States Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Click here to read the entire article. 

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) less favorably because of his or her age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It does not protect workers under the age of 40, although some states do have laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination.

It is not illegal for an employer or other covered entity to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older.

Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who is discriminating are both over 40.

Read more about Age Discrimination at eeoc.gov.

Age Discrimination and Work Situations

The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Read more about Age Discrimination at eeoc.gov.

Age Discrimination and Harassment

It is unlawful to harass a person because of his or her age.

Harassment can include, for example, offensive remarks about a person's age. Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren't very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

Read more about Age Discrimination at eeoc.gov.