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Both state and federal laws ban discrimination in employment based on age. Workers and job candidates who are at least 40 years of age are protected under the state and federal laws. Unions and employment agencies (even if there is no fee for their services) are also covered by these same age discrimination laws. In order to simplify the language of this pamphlet, unions and employment agencies will be referred to as “employers.”

Who is Protected Under State Law?

Workers and job candidates 40 and older, employed or seeking employment with a public or private employer, are protected. Workers at private companies with fewer than five employees who don’t contract with the state may have no protection.

What the Law Means:

The law protects those 40 and older from age discrimination in all aspects of the employment relationship. Included are prohibitions against the following:

  • Mandatory retirement
  • Layoff or reduction in force because of age
  • Failure to hire based on age
  • Failure to promote based on age
  • Unequal terms, conditions or privileges of employment for older workers
  • Discriminatory compensation based on age
  • Advertisement of jobs indicating a preference for younger workers or a limitation based on age
  • Failure to refer individuals for employment based on age, or
  • Classifying union members or employment agency clients according to age
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