Employment Discrimination Age Discrimination in Employment

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination based on age (40 or older) with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, training and harassment.

The ADEA also prohibits
retaliation against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on age or for filing an age discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADEA.

Agency - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

See map of field offices available at http://www.eeoc.gov/field/index.cfm.

EEOC Offices are also listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Website Address


Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: In fiscal year 2016, EEOC field legal units filed 86 merits lawsuits, including 58 individual suits, 11 non-systemic suits with multiple victims, and 18 systemic suits. Merits lawsuits are direct suits or interventions alleging violations of the substantive provisions of the statutes enforced by EEOC and suits to enforce administrative settlements. These merits filings alleged violations covering a wide variety of bases, including disability (36), sex (25), retaliation (24), race (10), religion (6), national origin (5), age (2), and genetic information (2). The issues raised most frequently in these suits were discharge (48), hiring (22), reasonable accommodation (17), and harassment (11). At the end of fiscal year 2016, EEOC had 166 cases on its active district court docket, of which 30 (18.1 percent) were non-systemic multiple victim cases and 47 (28.3 percent) involved challenges to systemic discrimination. The agency also filed 28 subpoena enforcement actions. EEOC?s legal staff resolved 139 merits lawsuits in the federal district courts for a total monetary recovery of $52.2 million. EEOC achieved a favorable resolution in 90.6 percent of all district court resolutions. A total of 8,489 individuals received monetary relief as a direct result of EEOC lawsuit resolutions. The Commission also resolved 32 subpoena enforcement actions during the fiscal year. Fiscal Year 2016: EEOC received 91,503 charges alleging discrimination in employment, resolved 97,443 charges and obtained monetary benefits of $348 million. Fiscal Year 2017: No Current Data Available; Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available. Fiscal Year 2017: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

Individuals 40 years of age or older are protected from age discrimination by employers with 20 or more employees, all state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations and the federal government.

It is unlawful for covered employers to post advertisements indicating any preference, limitation, or specification based on age.

Limited exceptions apply: in situations in which age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business; in situations in which the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age; or if an otherwise prohibited practice is in observance of the terms of a bona fide seniority system or employee benefit plan (except that no such seniority system or employee benefit plan shall excuse the failure to hire, or require or permit the involuntary retirement of any covered individual).

Exemptions and exceptions also apply for highly compensated employees, public officials, firefighters and law enforcement officers.

The EEOC Assessment System, available at https://egov.eeoc.gov/eas/, enables individuals to determine whether EEOC is the appropriate agency to contact regarding their specific claims of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

If a charge is filed, mediation may be offered to the parties involved.

If mediation is not used or is not successful further investigation may ensue.

The Commission will attempt to eliminate any alleged unlawful practice by informal methods of conciliation, conference and persuasion.

If conciliation fails, the charging party will be notified that he or she can file a civil action within 90 days.

If the Commission?s proceedings with regard to a charge are terminated, the Commission will notify the complainant who shall then have the right to bring a civil action within 90 days.

A federal government applicant or employee who believe that his or her employment rights have been violated under this statute and wants to make a claim against a federal agency must file a complaint with that agency and follow the procedures set forth at 29 C.F.R.

part 1614.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any aggrieved individuals age 40 and over, or any individual, organization, or agency filing on behalf of an aggrieved individual who has reason to believe that a covered employer has committed an unlawful employment practice within the meaning of the ADEA, as amended.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Applicants, current employees, or former employees of the named respondent(s) who are age 40 or older and who have been subjected to unlawful employment practices based on age by the named respondent(s), and/or who have been subjected to retaliation for opposing age discrimination, filing a charge of discrimination, or participating in an ADEA investigation, proceeding, or litigation.


An allegation of unlawful employment practice(s) may be made in person, by mail or by fax. An allegation must be in writing, signed, and notarized when necessary to meet state or local requirements. Charge forms (EEOC Form 5, Charge of Discrimination) are available to all persons from all field offices of the Commission. Individuals may also consult EEOC?s website at http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm for detailed information about filing a charge. Complaints against the federal government should be filed at the relevant agency's EEO office. Each agency is required to post information about how to contact the agency's EEO office. Federal government applicants or employees should consult EEOC?s website at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/fed_employees/complaint_overview.cfm for details about filing an employment discrimination complaint against a federal agency. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. A charge may be filed by any aggrieved individual or by any organization, i.e. labor union, association, legal representative, etc., either as an aggrieved entity or on behalf of an aggrieved individual. Charges may be filed in person, by mail or by fax at the nearest field office of the EEOC. Complaints against the federal government should be filed at the relevant agency?s EEO office. Each agency is required to post information about how to contact the agency?s EEO office.

Award Procedures

A charge is sufficient when the Commission receives from the person making the charge a written signed statement that includes an allegation of discrimination, the name(s) of the parties involved, and a request that the EEOC act to protect the applicant or employee?s rights or otherwise settle a dispute between the applicant or employee and the employer.


Not Applicable.


Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967,(P.L. 90-202), as amended, 29 U.S.C. section 621 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The ADEA requires that charges be filed within 180 days of the date of the alleged violation, within 300 days if the charge is also covered by a state or local anti-discrimination law and a state or local entity enforcing the law, or within 30 days after the receipt of notice of termination of state proceedings, whichever is earlier. A civil action may be commenced at any time 60 days after a charge has been filed with the EEOC. If the evidence does not establish that discrimination occurred, charging parties will be given written notice of their right to sue. A charging party may file a lawsuit within 90 days after receiving a notice of a right to sue from EEOC, as stated above. If the charging party files an ADEA lawsuit, EEOC usually stops its investigation. Federal employees must generally contact the agency's EEO Counselor within 45 days from the date the discrimination occurred.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.


Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 16 $364,500,000; FY 17 est $364,500,000; and FY 18 est $363,807,086 - (Salaries and expenses) Not separately identifiable.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Publications are available for downloading on the EEOC web site (www.eeoc.gov). To request documents in alternative formats (Braille, large print, etc), contact EEOC?s Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs at (202) 663-4191 or (202) 663-4494 (TTY). Regulations: 29 C.F.R 1625, Age Discrimination in Employment Act; 29 C.F.R 1626, Procedures?Age Discrimination in Employment Act; 29 C.F.R 1627, Records to be made or kept relating to age: notices to be posted: administrative exemptions. Policy documents and fact sheets include: Compliance Manual Section 2: Threshold Issues; Compliance Manual Section 3: Employee Benefits; Compliance Manual Section 8: Retaliation; Compliance Manual Section 10: Compensation Discrimination; Fact Sheet: Age Discrimination.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. See map of field offices available at http://www.eeoc.gov/field/index.cfm. EEOC Offices are also listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 131 M Street, NE, Washington, District of Columbia 20507 Phone: 202-663-4191/202-663-4494 (TTY)

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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