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ADEA and Amendments


  • Civil Rights Act of 1964, § 715, Pub. L. No. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, 265 (July 2, 1964).
    Congress directs the Secretary of Labor to "make a full and complete study of the factors which might tend to result in discrimination in employment because of age and of the consequences of such discrimination on the economy and the individuals affected."


  • Report of the Secretary of Labor to the Congress under section 715 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Older American Worker: Age Discrimination in Employment (June 30, 1965), (known as the "Wirtz Report" after Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz).
    The Wirtz Report concludes there is substantial evidence of arbitrary age discrimination and suggests that Congress deal with the issue by enacting legislation.


  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Pub. L. No. 90-202, 81 Stat. 602 (December 15, 1967; effective June 12, 1968 (180 days after enactment)).
    Congress passes the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protecting individuals who are between 40 and 65 years of age from discrimination in employment. Congress authorizes the Department of Labor to enforce the ADEA.



  • Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1977, Pub. L. No. 95-151, 91 Stat. 1245 (November 1, 1977).
    Congress expands remedies under FLSA § 16(b), 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) for retaliation claims under FLSA §15(a)(3), 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3). ADEA §7(b), 29 U.S.C. § 626(b), incorporates FLSA § 16(b), and deems acts prohibited under ADEA § 4, 29 U.S.C. § 623, to be prohibited acts under FLSA § 15, as amended.


  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act Amendments of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95-256, 92 Stat. 189-93 (April 6, 1978).
    Congress raises the private-sector age of coverage from 65 to 70 and removes the age cap for federal employees to cover individuals age 40 and older in § 12, 29 U.S.C. §§ 631(a), (b). Congress makes the right to a jury trial explicit in § 7(c), 29 U.S.C. § 626(c), and adds language to § 4(f)(2) to prohibit a seniority system or benefit plan from requiring or permitting involuntary retirement. 29 U.S.C. § 623(f)(2).
  • Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978, § 2, 43 Fed. Reg. 19807-809 (May 9, 1978) and Executive Order No. 12144, 44 Fed. Reg. 37193 (June 22, 1979).
    Congress transfers enforcement authority for the ADEA to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, effective October 1, 1979.



  • Older Americans Act Amendments of 1984, § 802, Pub. L. 96-459, 98 Stat. 1767 (October 9, 1984).
    Congress amends the ADEA to include coverage of U.S. citizens employed abroad, and specifies the coverage of foreign entities controlled by U.S. employers.


  • Age Discrimination in Employment Amendments of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-592, 100 Stat. 3342 (October 31, 1986).
    Congress extends ADEA coverage to all individuals at least 40 years of age and eliminates the upper-age coverage cap of 70. Congress provides an exemption through 1993 for state and local governments using maximum hiring or mandatory retirement ages for firefighters or law enforcement officials for plans in effect in March 1983. Congress provides a similar exemption for colleges and universities who may involuntarily retire professors at age 70, if the professor is serving under a contract of unlimited tenure.


  • Age Discrimination Claims Assistance Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100-283, 102 Stat. 78 (April 7, 1988).
    Congress reinstates the right to file lawsuits to charging parties who had lost that right when EEOC failed to process ADEA charges within the two or three year statute of limitation. The ADCAA extended the time for filing lawsuits for an additional 540 days (18 months).


  • Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 101-433, 104 Stat. 978 (October 16, 1990).
    Congress responds to the Supreme Court's 1989 decision in Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio v. Betts. Betts held that ADEA did not forbid age discrimination in employee benefits except in rare circumstances. The OWBPA amends the ADEA to prohibit age discrimination in employee benefits and establishes minimum standards for voluntary waivers of ADEA claims or rights.
  • Age Discrimination Claims Assistance Amendments of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-504, 104 Stat. 1298 (November 3, 1990).
    Congress passes the Age Discrimination Claims Assistance Amendments of 1990 (ADCAA II) providing ADEA charging parties an additional 450 days in which to file their own private ADEA lawsuits. The ADCAA II preserves the rights of charging parties to later bring their own lawsuits while permitting EEOC to process the remaining backlog of age discrimination charges.


  • Civil Rights Act of 1991, § 115, Pub. L. No. 102-166, 105 Stat. 1071 (November 21, 1991). Congress codifies the 90-day statute of limitations provision for filing ADEA civil actions.


  • Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, § 201(c)(2), Pub. L. No. 104-1, 109 Stat. 3 (January 23, 1995).
    Congress specifies that appropriate remedies for a violation of the ADEA are awarded under ADEA § 15(c), 29 U.S.C. § 633a(c), for legal and equitable relief, and under ADEA § 7(b), 29 U.S.C. § 626(b), for liquidated damages.


  • Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-23, 24 (September 30, 1996).
    Congress reenacts and amends §4(j) to the ADEA (29 U.S.C. §623(j)) to permit state governmental employers to use maximum hiring and mandatory retirement ages for firefighters and law enforcement officers pursuant to bona fide plans that are not a subterfuge to evade the purposes of the ADEA. Congress also repealed §3(b), 29 U.S.C. §623(g) of the ADEA Amendments of 1986.


  • Higher Education Amendments of 1998, § 941, Pub. L. No. 105-244, 112 Stat. 1581 (October 7, 1998).
    Congress enacts the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 to amend Section 4 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 U.S.C. § 623) to permit colleges and universities to offer special age-based retirement incentives for tenured faculty members at institutions of higher education; this amendment replaces the former temporary exemptions which permitted colleges and universities to mandatorily retire tenured faculty members at age 65 and later at age 70.


  • Pension Protection Act of 2006, §701(c), Pub. L. 109-280, 120 Stat. 780 (August 17, 2006).
    Congress revises ADEA §4(i) to add special rules relating to pension benefit plans.


  • Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, §§ 4, 5, Pub. L. No. 111-2, 123 Stat. 5 (January 29, 2009).
    Congress adds amendments to the ADEA § 7(d)(3), 29 U.S.C. § 626(d)(3), to clarify when an unlawful employment practice occurs with respect to claims of discrimination in compensation by private, public, and federal employees.