Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967


Discrimination based upon age has been the subject of numerous debates. The debate involves classification of age discrimination within discrimination based upon race, color, sex, national origin, or religion. The idea that older persons are not targeted because everyone ultimately ages is central to the debate. That is to say, since everyone ages, there is no separate class for aging individuals. Older persons do not form a unique and distinct class. The resistance to classifying age with race, gender, and religion caused it to be omitted from the original Civil Rights Act of 1964. Subsequently there were numerous challenges of the ADEA. The ADEA was originally intended for private employers; however, in 1974, amendments extended it to local and state governments. There have been two landmark Supreme Court cases regarding the application of the ADEA to state employers. In 1983, the Supreme Court held in the case of EECO v. Wyoming (1983) that the ADEA was a valid exercise of congressional authority. However, the Supreme Court later ruled in Kimel et al. v. Florida Board of Regents (2000) that persons could not sue state and local employers for violations.