The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants on the basis of age. Unlike some state laws, however, the ADEA only applies if the employee or job applicant who suffered the age discrimination is between 40 and 70 years old.

Traditionally, federal courts have applied the same standards in analyzing ADEA claims as are used under other anti-discrimination statutes, particularly Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Accordingly, like Title VII plaintiffs, ADEA plaintiffs can prove their age bias case by presenting direct evidence of discrimination committed by their employer, such as age-based slurs by decision-makers within the company, or any other verbal or documentary evidence showing that the company’s supervisors took age into account in their decision-making.