An overview of the history, inception and judicial decisions surrounding this act.
America, the concepts upon which it is founded, and American business seem, at times, to be very different, independently sovereign nations. The general America is a land of democratic freedom built upon ideals of equality, opportunity, freedom, and independence. American business, on the other hand, is a land of dictatorships, persecution, exclusion, intolerance, crime, discrimination, ruthlessness, manipulation, and hate. In order to reconcile these two very different structures that exist side by side in the American psyche, our government over time has enacted laws that are intended to contain, regulate, and control business. But, businesses are what provide politicians with the bulk of their campaign finances, and as such are not to be trifled with. So, rather than taking on businesses by themselves, politicians band together to present a unified front and, when the find that there are differences between the American ideal and the reality of American business, they enact laws to address that problem. One such act, among many, is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. This act, like all others that restrict business’ ability to do whatever it wants, has met with stiff resistance from that front. Essentially, the law makes illegal the firing, denial of employment or benefits to any person solely upon the basis of their age. It is the purpose of this paper to explore this Act and to examine it from its inception, application, effect, and the court cases / decisions surrounding it.