Legal Memorandum: Age Discrimination and Damages Awarded

Issue: How have state and federal courts construed specific cases charging age discrimination and the award of damages under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967?

Area of Law: Employee Law
Keywords: Age discrimination; Award of damages; Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
Jurisdiction: Federal, Multistate
Cited Cases: 209 Mich. App. 197; 528 N.W.2d 200; 898 P.2d 690
Cited Statutes: 29 U.S.C. §§ 621—634; 29 C.F.R. §§ 1625—1627;
Date: 02/01/2001

In O’Connor v. Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp., 116 S. Ct. 472 (1996), the United States Supreme Court held that under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), employees are protected based on their age, not on their membership in a specific protected class.  Thus, even if one member of a protected class loses out to another, younger member of the class, there is a cause of action under the ADEA.  The key is whether the employee lost out to the other employee because of age, regardless of whether the favored employee is a member of the protected class.

As a result of O’Connor, a broader range of facts may support a claim of discrimination based on age.  In light of this decision, this Bibliography brings together selected resources useful to litigators of age-discrimination claims.  It is not intended to be an exhaustive resource.

Age-discrimination law is based on statute.  The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) is codified at 29 U.S.C. §§ 621—634.  Regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pertaining to the ADEA are found at 29 C.F.R. §§ 1625—1627.

Most, but not all, states have statutory protection against age discrimination.  The scope of these statutes varies, protecting individuals at various age levels and in areas other than employment.  Information on state law and regulations may be found in each state’s statutes and regulatory material; it can also be located in treatises pertaining to discrimination and employment law.


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