Is It Safe For A 40-Year-Old To Have A Baby Age Discrimination In Employment Act Of 1967 – Some Highlights Of The Important Act

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Age Discrimination In Employment Act Of 1967 – Some Highlights Of The Important Act

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 grew out of the Civil Rights Act, which became law in 1964. The passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act stated that color, race, religion, gender and ethnic origin should be prohibited in the workplace. Age discrimination was not included at the time. Then, in 1967, the US Department of Labor completed a study showing that age discrimination was widespread, and Congress responded with the ADEA of 1967. The Act provides protections for employees between the ages of 40 and 65. Over the years, laws are updated as needed.

This article documents the major changes to the ADEA in 1967.

In 1978, ADEA’s enforcement authority was transferred from then-President Jimmy Carter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Also in the same year, Congress further expanded the scope of protection to employees under the age of 70. Nine years later, the age cap was removed to protect seniors from discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 amended all major civil rights laws in force in the country, including the ADEA of 1967. The bill overturns some Supreme Court decisions that make it harder for age-biased plaintiffs to win. In 1996, though, the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in O’Connor v. Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp. ADEA does not require a fired employee to prove that his successor is under the age of 40, the Supreme Court said. Four years later, however, the Supreme Court appears to be once again taking on those who experience age discrimination by stating that agencies of state government are constitutionally protected from prosecution for monetary-related damages.

In 2002, the EEOC received nearly 20,000 age discrimination complaints, a record high. Most of these complaints are the result of a poor economy and an aging workforce, which includes retiring baby boomers. The following year, the EEOC reached the largest settlement in history in an age discrimination case. 1,700 officers belonging to the California Department of Public Safety are owed $250 million in unpaid wages. Over the past 40 years, changes have been made to the 1967 ADEA, not all for the benefit of victims of age discrimination. Expect more changes to come in time as these changes will adapt to an evolving society.

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