The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is a federal law that prohibits how employers may treat their workers who are at least 40 years of age. The ADEA only applies to employers who have at least 20 workers, which means that it may not protect older workers who work at small businesses or for entities with smaller work staffs. In Minnesota, older workers may also find that the ADEA’s protections do not reach them when certain exceptions are present.
First, if there is a bona fide occupational qualification that prevents older workers from having certain jobs, then that qualification may stand as a bar from employing older workers in particular roles. Limiting the age of individuals who can hold certain rules must be necessary for the job to be done effectively or to protect the safety of individuals who do that type of work.
Second, if a worker has reached management or executive status with their employer, they may be asked to leave their job when they reach the age of 65. Bona fide policy makers can be removed from their jobs at that age if they are given pensions that meet statutorily set guidelines.
The ADEA may not apply in certain age-related employment cases if there are reasonable factors that require certain positions to be filled by younger workers, but these factors may vary based on the employer and the industry in which they operate. Employment attorneys can provide guidance to those who are struggling with age-based discrimination at their jobs. When a worker fears that they have been discriminated against or harassed at work because of their age, it is important that they seek help to better understand their rights.