What is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was passed in 1967.  Its purpose is to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace as a result of their age.

Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in response to its findings that, as they aged, many workers found it impossible to hold onto their jobs, no matter how experienced, skilled, and dedicated they were.  Congress found that many employers were firing older workers in order to replace them with younger ones.

The ADEA seeks to prohibit this practice by prohibiting employers from taking a number of negative steps toward workers because of their age.  Specifically, the ADEA prevents employers from:

  • failing to hire, refusing to hire, firing, or discriminating against any individual due to that individual’s age,
  • limiting, segregating, or classifying employees in a way that deprives any employee of employment opportunities, chances for promotion, or other opportunities due to age, or
  • cutting any employee’s wages in order to comply with some requirement of the ADEA.

The ADEA only protects workers over 40 years of age.  Discrimination against people because of youth or a lack of maturity is not prohibited by the ADEA and is probably not prohibited at all in Washington State.

As an experienced Seattle employment discrimination attorney, I can help you fight age discrimination or other unfair and illegal actions taken against you at work.  To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact me today at (206) 324-8969 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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