What Is the Age Discrimination Act of 1967? - Summary, Lesson & Quiz

  • Lesson
  • Quiz
  • Like?
Taught by

Shawn Grimsley

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 is an important employment law for both employees and employers to know. In this lesson, you will learn about what the law is and some of its key provisions. You will have an opportunity to reinforce your knowledge with a short quiz.

We also recommend watching How Age Affects Our Senses: Lesson & Quiz and Reconstruction Acts of 1867: Definition, Lesson & Quiz


The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination based upon age if the applicant or employee is 40 years of age or older.

Key Concepts

While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does make age discrimination illegal for applicants and employees aged 40 and over, it does not protect employees under the age of 40. In other words, the ADEA does not prohibit employers from discriminating against employees under the age of forty.

The scope of the ADEA is fairly broad. The ADEA covers employment activities including, but not limited to, hiring, firing, layoffs, promotion, compensation, benefits, training and job assignments. Age-based harassment is illegal if it is so pervasive that it creates a hostile or offensive workplace for the victim or results in an adverse employment decision against the victim, such as a demotion or termination. Additionally, an employment policy or practice can also be illegal under the ADEA if it applies to all employees but has a negative impact on applicants or employees who are 40 years of age or older if it is not based on a reasonable factor other than age.

Investigation, Enforcement and Resolution

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the ADEA. It has the authority to investigate claims of discrimination brought by employees. It will ask the employer for a response, and then it will undertake an investigation. If the EEOC makes a finding of discrimination, it will try to settle the issue with the employer and employee. If it can't settle the dispute, it can file a lawsuit against the employer in court. If the employee disagrees with the EEOC's findings, the employee can file a lawsuit against the employer as well.


Let' say you are a sixty year old executive at a medical supply company. Your company is going through some downsizing because of the current recession. You are surprised to find that you are released while other executives with less experience and time at the company survived the downsizing. You meet with some of your close colleagues at your usual bar. They tell you that the scuttlebutt around the company is that the new management is axing any mid-level executive over the age of 55.

Unlock Content Over 8,500 lessons in all major subjects

Get FREE access for 5 days,
just create an account.

Start a FREE trial

No obligation, cancel anytime.

Want to learn more?

Select a subject to preview related courses:

Start your free trial to take this quiz
As a premium member, you can take this quiz and also access over 8,500 fun and engaging lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Get access today with a FREE trial!
Free 5-day trial
It only takes a minute to get started. You can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access.

  • Business Courses
  • Supplemental Lessons
  • Popular Articles

Search Our Courses

Did you like this?
Yes No

Thanks for your feedback!

What didn't you like?

What didn't you like?

Education Portal Video Lessons

The smarter way to study Short videos, Real results
  • More affordable than tutoring
  • All major high school and college subjects
  • Unlimited access to all 8,500+ video Lessons
  • Study on your own schedule
Try it Free