What is age discrimination?
Discrimination on the basis of age in the workplace is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). However, the law only applies to workers over the age of 40. Employees can discriminate against people who are too young; for instance, a 39-year old can be denied employment opportunities on the basis of age. Also, it is illegal to replace workers over 40 with workers under the age of 40, if age is the reason for the replacement; nevertheless, it is not illegal to replace a higher wage earner for a lower wage earner, even if the higher earner is over 40 and has more seniority, so long as pay is the reason behind the replacement. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) amended the ADEA to specifically prohibit employers from denying benefits to older employees.