Can you be too old to claim age discrimination?

I am over 70 and feel I am being discriminated against at work because of that. Am I too old to claim age discrimination?

Posted 02-10-2010

Ann Kiernan replies:

No, you are not! At one time, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act limited its coverage to workers 40 to 70. But in 1987, Congress repealed the upper age limit.

Being employed after 70 is part of a growing trend. After falling for more than a century, the average American retirement age has been increasing. In fact, the federal Department of Labor predicts that workers age 55 and up will constitute 21.2% of our labor force by 2014. And age discrimination cases are a big part of the EEOC’s workload. In 2009 the number of charges alleging age-based discrimination reached the second-highest level ever, and made up nearly one-quarter of the EEOC filings.

Please make sure you consult a local attorney about your rights. At one time AARP had a program where volunteer lawyers reviewed and evaluated possible age discrimination cases, but I do not know if the program is still in operation. If you are an AARP member, you may want to inquire about it. Good luck.


Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.