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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Youth at Work

B is incorrect.

Federal law does not protect teenage workers from age discrimination in employment. However, it is illegal for managers, supervisors and co-workers, including teenagers, to discriminate against or harass older employees (age 40 and above) because of their age.

Try again! Select another choice below.


10. Juanita recently graduated from high school and began work as a shift manager at a retail store that specializes in clothing for juniors. She does not get along with an older employee (age 45) who works part-time. At one staff meeting, Juanita gave the older employee a cane as a joke. On another occasion, Juanita told the older employee to take the afternoon off and go home to take a nap. Juanita regularly refers to this older employee as “Grandma.” After several months, Juanita fires the older employee because she wants to hire someone younger. Juanita believes a younger employee will relate better to the store’s teen customers. Did Juanita discriminate against the older employee?

  1. Yes. Federal law protects workers age 40 or older from job discrimination and harassment based on their age.
  2. No. The federal age discrimination law does not apply to teenage workers, so it is not illegal for Juanita to fire the older employee.
  3. No. As a manager, Juanita has the authority to make decisions about hiring and firing employees.
  4. No. Juanita did not discriminate against the older employee because it is important for a retail store that markets to teenagers to hire workers who are the same age as its customers.

FUN FACT: Federal law prohibits age discrimination against workers age 40 or older. However, some state or local laws protect workers younger than 40 from age discrimination. Does your state or locality protect younger workers from age discrimination at work? Research and find out!