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As we enter the holiday season, we would like to begin by expressing our sincere gratitude to our clients, current and former, who have allowed us to serve the community since 1993.  We are fortunate to be able to provide high-quality legal representation to such wonderful individuals.  Turning to this blog post, in light of the holidays, this edition will explore the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) with a holiday twist.

The ADEA was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967.  The ADEA prohibits discrimination against people who are 40 or older.1  The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees.2  As the EEOC has noted, the ADEA “prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”3  The ADEA also prohibits harassing an employee because of his or her age.4  In 2022, the EEOC received 11,500 Charges of Discrimination alleging age discrimination.5  The law also protects employees from retaliation for raising complaints of age discrimination.6  Age is also a protected category under the Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”), which applies to employers with 15 or more employees.7  Courts analyze claims for age discrimination under the FCRA using the same framework as the ADEA.8

As a hypothetical, imagine that Yohan (who is 33) and Daniele (who is 63) work for Santa’s Workshop, conveniently located in Christmas, Florida.  Yohan is Daniele’s manager in the facility, which manufactures toys that are distributed all around the world.  Daniele has been with the company for over twenty years, and Yohan was appointed her manager two months ago after the unexpected retirement of her former manager, Buddy.  Under Buddy, Daniele consistently earned high praise and had excellent performance scores.  After a few weeks of taking over the department, Yohan begins criticizing Daniele’s performance, while continually praising her younger colleagues.  Yohan also tells Daniele that she is “slowing down in her old age” and repeatedly asks her when she is going to retire.  Daniele has clear grounds to raise a complaint to Nick, the owner of the workshop, for age discrimination and harassment.  If Nick ignores Daniele’s complaint, or retaliates against her for raising the complaint, he is at risk of Daniele having a cause of action against Santa’s Workshop under the ADEA and the FCRA.

As the example above shows, employers must take complaints of age discrimination seriously, or they risk being placed on the “Naughty list.”  If you have any questions or concerns regarding this topic, or any topic related to labor and employment law, please contact us.

[1] For context, the life expectancy in 1967 was 67 for men and 74.3 for females. Social Security Administration, Period Life Expectancies—Calendar Years 1940-2001, available at (last visited Nov. 17, 2023).  We often hear surprised comments about 40 being the threshold, but it has not been raised since the Act’s passage.

[2] U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Age Discrimination, available at (last visited Nov. 17, 2023).

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (Charges filed with EEOC) (includes concurrent charges with Title VII, ADA, EPA, and GINA) FY 1997 – FY 2022, available at (last visited Nov. 17, 2023).

[6] See U.S. Dep’t of Labor, What do I need to know about . . . Age Discrimination, available at (last visited Nov. 17, 2023).

[7] §§ 760.02, 760.10, Fla. Stat. (2023).

[8] Mazzeo v. Color Resolutions Int’l, LLC, 746 F.3d 1264, 1266 (11th Cir. 2014).


Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash