The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), as amended, prohibits age-related discrimination by employers with 20 or more employees against persons 40 years of age or older. This means age cannot be the basis for different, adverse treatment of an employee, as compared to other similarly situated individuals, with respect to any term or condition of employment. Nor can age be the basis for employment decisions concerning, without limitation, recruitment, hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments and training. Rather, employment decisions are to be based on the individual person’s skills and abilities, irrespective of age. Required or preferred qualifications identified in job postings should be stated in age-neutral terms (e.g., avoiding terms like “recent graduate” that suggests a desired age group) that objectively describe the level of education/training and years of experience, if any, required for the job. Georgia state law similarly prohibits age discrimination by any employer against persons who are age 40 to 70 years old. Georgia state law also prohibits age discrimination by public employers (like state agencies and local governments) against persons of any age.
The federal Age Discrimination Act of 1975 generally prohibits age discrimination against persons of any age in all programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.
Consistent with the foregoing laws, the University of Georgia’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy (“NDAH Policy”), prohibits age-related discrimination or harassment in either employment or education against persons of any age.
Age-related discrimination is defined by the NDAH Policy as decision-making based on age.
Age-related harassment is defined by the NDAH Policy as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on age when it is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to:
- Unreasonably interfere with the individual’s work or educational performance;
- Create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or
- Unreasonably interfere with or limits one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.
Age-related harassment can include conduct or remarks based on stereotypes about age. For example, that older workers are: over-qualified, under-qualified, likely to retire soon, require more time off, are less responsive to supervision than younger individuals, or are unable to learn and utilize new procedures and new technologies.
If you have knowledge of or believe you have experienced age-related discrimination or harassment, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at (706) 542-7912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UGA faculty, instructors, administrators, supervisors and all other employees (including student employees) who are in positions of authority must report to the Equal Opportunity Office any complaints they receive or knowledge they possess (whether direct or indirect) of any age-related discrimination or harassment to the Equal Opportunity Office. Failure to make a report is a separate violation of the NDAH Policy.