• Older people are entitled to fair treatment in the workplace under federal and state laws prohibiting age discrimination.

    Federal laws

    The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits discrimination based on age against people who are over the age of 40. The act applies to companies that have 20 or more employees. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits age discrimination in places that are federally funded.

    What's Covered?

    People are to be judged by ability, not by age, in the workplace. An older employee should receive the same treatment as a younger employee in every aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay and job assignments, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).


    The EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The Age Discrimination Act is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor's Civil Rights Center.

    Filing a complaint

    If you are a federal employee, you must report discrimination to an EEO counselor at your place of employment. Non-federal workers can file charges at the local EEOC field office.

    State Laws

    Many states have their own workplace fairness laws that prohibit discrimination based on age, among other things.


    U.S. Department of Labor

    U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Civil Rights Center

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