1:4 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) extends protections guaranteed to certain classes of people by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to workers or applicants age 40 or older. Employers may not use the age of an individual as a basis for refusing to hire an otherwise qualified individual, or for discriminating against a person in compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment including discharge, promotion and treatment. An employer cannot reduce anyone's wages in order to comply with the Act, or deny an employee or a spouse over age 65 the same health care coverage offered to employees and their spouses under age 65.

There are certain instances, however, when age may be a legitimate factor, for example, to observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system or a bona fide employee benefits plan.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing this law and will hear complaints from individuals who believe they have been the victims of age discrimination. Cases are resolved in a manner similar to resolution of complaints under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, except that there is a right to a jury trial under the ADEA.

Employers are required, under the law, to retain certain personnel, payroll and benefit plan records for varying retention periods.

The above information is a summary only and is in no way intended to be legal advice. Furthermore, this should be read in concert with University policies and procedures. Requests for further information should be directed to your Human Resources Region Manager.