| Age Discrimination,
Education, Advocacy and Research Foundation, LLC.
| Since 1974, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621) has prohibited States from discriminating in employment on the basis of age. In EEOC v. Wyoming, 460 U.S. 226 (1983), the Supreme Court upheld Congress's constitutional authority to prohibit States from discriminating in employment on the basis of age. The prohibitions of the ADEA remain in effect and continue to apply to the States, as the prohibitions have for more than 25 years.
(Washington, D.C.) Private civil suits by the victims of employment discrimination have been a crucial tool for enforcement of the ADEA since the enactment of that Act. In Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents, 528 U.S. 62, however, the Supreme Court held that Congress had not abrogated State sovereign immunity to suits by individuals under the ADEA. The Federal Government has an important interest in ensuring that Federal financial assistance is not used to subsidize or facilitate violations of the ADEA. Private civil suits are a critical tool for advancing that interest.
| executive director
| Age discrimination in employment remains a serious problem both nationally and among State agencies, and has invidious effects on its victims, the labor force, and the economy as a whole. For example, age discrimination in employment--
|Representatives:|| (A) increases the risk of unemployment among older workers, who will as a result be more likely to be dependent on government resources;
| (B) prevents the best use of available labor resources;
| (C) adversely effects the morale and productivity of older workers; and
| (D) perpetuates unwarranted stereotypes about the abilities of older workers.
| ADEA Research Foundation
Washington, D.C. 01423
| As a result of the Kimel decision, although age-based discrimination by State employers remains unlawful, the victims of such discrimination lack important remedies for vindication of their rights that are available to all other employees covered under that Act, including employees in the private sector, local government, and the Federal
Government. Unless a State chooses to waive sovereign immunity, or the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission brings an action on their behalf, State employees
victimized by violations of the ADEA have no adequate Federal remedy for violations of
that Act. In the absence of the deterrent effect that such remedies provide, there is a
greater likelihood that entities carrying out programs and activities receiving
Federal financial assistance will use that assistance to violate that Act, or that the assistance will
otherwise subsidize or facilitate violations of that Act.
Federal law has long treated nondiscrimination obligations as a core component of
programs or activities that, in whole or part, receive Federal financial assistance. That
assistance should not be used, directly or indirectly, to subsidize invidious discrimination.
Assuring nondiscrimination in employment is a crucial aspect of assuring
nondiscrimination in those programs and activities.
Discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving Federal financial
assistance is, in contexts other than employment, forbidden by the Age Discrimination Act
of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.). Congress determined that it was not necessary for the
Age Discrimination Act of 1975 to apply to employment discrimination because the
ADEA already forbade discrimination in employment by, and authorized suits against,
State agencies and other entities that receive Federal financial assistance. In section 1003
of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 2000d-7), Congress required
all State entities subject to the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 to waive any immunity
from suit for discrimination claims arising under the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. The
earlier limitation in the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, originally intended only to avoid
duplicative coverage and remedies, has in the wake of the Kimel decision become a
serious loophole leaving millions of State employees without an important Federal remedy
for age discrimination, resulting in the use of Federal financial assistance to subsidize or
facilitate violations of the ADEA.
The Supreme Court has upheld Congress's authority to condition receipt of Federal
A State's receipt or use of Federal financial assistance in any program or activity of a
The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that State sovereign immunity does not bar
In Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424, 431 (1971), the Supreme Court
Other indicia of Congress's intent to permit the disparate impact method of proving
The ADEA's legislative history confirms Congress's intent to redress all `arbitrary'
In 1991, Congress reaffirmed that title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits
Subsequently, several lower courts and Federal Courts of Appeal have mistakenly