The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

Still Protecting Seniors from Unfair Discrimination

Age Discrimination for Seniors The 1960s are noted as a decade in which civil rights were advanced in the United States. One aspect of civil rights to make great strides in the 1960s concerned the longstanding problem of age discrimination.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (and still in effect today) outlawed such established practices as hiring of employees on the basis of age and denial of benefits based on age. Although clearly some age discrimination in employment still exists in the US, federal law doesn’t condone such discrimination. This is important, because enactment of a law is often one of the first steps in changing attitudes—and attitudes toward age bias in the workplace definitely have changed since the Age Discrimination in Employment Act took effect.

Nowadays an ambitious senior wanting a place in the workforce has more protection than ever.

Law requires an employer or potential employer to treat seniors in the same manner as workers who may be decades younger. There are few employers now that can impose mandatory retirement, and age alone cannot be the determining factor when it comes to hiring or promotion. Of course, age discrimination may be hard to prove, but most employers are likely to play it safe when federal law is so squarely on the employee’s or prospective employee’s side.

Fortunately, many employers have embraced changes set forth in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. As a result, numerous seniors find themselves in ideal workplace situations, continuing to build on long and successful careers with minimal or no consideration given to their age. Whether they remain with their longtime employers or take their valuable skills and experience to new employers, they’re able to focus on their work with minimal hassle and the same protections their younger colleagues enjoy. Seniors who’ve negotiated with law-abiding employers and agreed on special working conditions—a reduction in hours, responsibilities, and benefits, for example—have done so in most cases not because they were forced to because of age, but because these employees prefer such conditions and are viewed as such valuable assets that their companies want to keep them around in whatever capacity is possible.

Not all employers are so enlightened, however, and that’s why the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is so important.

The protections it offers older American workers shouldn’t be underestimated—and Americans of all ages should regard this particular law just as highly as they regard other important laws enacted during the Civil Rights era.

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The Age Discrimination In Employment Act Of 1967 © 2012


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