The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued revised regulations on age discrimination in the workplace in accordance with a 2004 Supreme Court decision, General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline. The updated regulations, published in today’s Federal Register, are available on

The revised regulations clarify that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not prohibit employers from favoring an older employee over a younger one when both are protected by the Act. The EEOC initially proposed these changes in 2006 and, after receiving public comments on its proposal, unanimously voted to approve the revisions. The public comments were largely supportive of the revisions, with both business and labor groups supporting the changes.

“With the graying of the American workforce, the ADEA has become more relevant than ever to both employers and employees,” said EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp. “These revisions harmonize the Commission’s age discrimination regulations with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Cline, which clarified the law on this question. The decision, along with the revised regulations, will aid the EEOC in its enforcement efforts.”

The ADEA protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA’s protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC and the laws it enforces is available on its web site at

This page was last modified on July 6, 2007.

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