Protections in the Workplace: Equal Pay and Age Discrimination

Iris Hentze, Rebecca Tyus 8/10/2021

Equal Pay

Older woman in a job interview

Employees are protected from discrimination for compensation under several federal laws, including the following enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963: Prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Employers are prohibited from unlawful employment practices including discriminating against an individual through compensation based on a protected class.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967:  The ADEA prohibits employment discrimination against people 40 years of age or older.

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: Prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual on the basis of disability. The applies to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

Compensation in this context includes salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation pay and holiday pay. It also includes cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits.

Women's earnings chart

 

In 2007, the extent of equal-pay protections was temporarily reduced when the Supreme Court ruled in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. that a victim had to file a complaint within 180 days of the original discriminatory pay decision. This decision was made even though at the time, the complainant was still receiving discriminatory pay. She argued that each paycheck amounted to a fresh instance of discrimination. After the court decision, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was enacted in 2009, to restore protections against pay discrimination. The act makes clear that pay discrimination claims on the basis of sex, race, national origin, age, religion, and disability accrue whenever an employee receives a discriminatory paycheck, as well as when an initial discriminatory pay decision or practice is adopted. The law applies when a person becomes subject to the decision or practice, or when a person is otherwise affected by the decision or practice.

According to the most recent data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings that were 81.5 percent of those of male full-time wage and salary workers.  Since 2004, the women’s-to men’s earnings ratio has remained in the 80 percent to 83 percent range.

To address the gender pay gap and ensure pay equity, states have established laws that seek to eliminate pay differences based on sex. In some cases, these measures apply to other protected categories as well.  Most states have laws prohibiting wage discrimination based on sex. The language in the laws are usually similar to the federal Equal Pay Act and contain the same exceptions. Other states have expanded their equal pay protections by including them in the protections they already had against discrimination in the workplace. Mississippi currently is the only state that does not have equal pay laws. Alabama currently only prohibits pay discrimination based on age. North Carolina currently only prohibits pay discrimination based on disability. Many states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin, prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s previous salary history. This is a new policy solution states are looking towards in order to end the cycle of pay discrimination against specific protected classes. In 2021 Nevada passed a law that would prohibit employers from asking about salary history. States that are currently considering such measures include - California, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

To read more from NCSL on the gender pay gap and state approaches to correct it, please click here.

Age Discrimination

 

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 is a federal law that prohibits age discrimination against individuals who are 40 and over. It does not protect other workers under age discrimination. States have looked to federal law for guidance when establishing these types of protections on the state level. Prohibiting age discrimination is one of the most common workplace discrimination prohibitions in state law. Currently, 49 states including DC and Puerto Rico have included this protected class within their laws. 22 of these states including D.C. and Puerto Rico do not require an individual to be at least age 40 for age discrimination to exist. The rest of these laws are modeled after the federal law requiring the individual who is claiming discrimination based on age must be 40 or over.

Some states are looking at other ways employers may be discriminating against job applicants, even before the interview. In 2021 the Connecticut legislature passed legislation prohibiting employers from asking the year an individual graduated from high school or college because it could give insight on the applicant's age. New York is currently considering similar legislation.

Below are two charts that outline what the current protections are regarding equal pay and age in the workplace in all 50 states. 

STATES EQUAL PAY PROTECTIONS IN STATE LAWS
 
Alabama
 
 Age discrimination: Employers can't discriminate based on age, including in compensation. For more information, see Alabama Age Discrimination.
 Equal pay law: Effective Aug. 1, 2019, employers can't pay wage rates to employees of one sex or race that are lower than wage rates paid to employees of another sex or race for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, education, experience, and responsibility, subject to certain conditions. For more information, see Alabama Pay Discrimination.

 
Alaska
 
 Employers can't discriminate in compensation based on race, religion, color, or national origin, which includes ancestry. They also can't discriminate in compensation based on age, physical or mental disability, sex, marital status, marital status changes, pregnancy, or parenthood, unless a distinction on that basis is required by business necessity or a position's reasonable demands. In addition, employers can't pay female employees at a lower rate than the rate paid to male employees for comparable work or for work in the same operation, business, or line of work at the same locality. For more information, see Alaska Pay Discrimination.
 
Arizona
 
 Employers can't pay employees of one sex at wage rates that are less than the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for the same quality and quantity of the same classification of work in the same establishment. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. For more information, see Arizona Pay Discrimination.
 
Arkansas
 
 Employers can't discriminate solely based on sex in the payment of wages and compensation. For more information, see Arkansas Pay Discrimination.
 
California
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. For more information, see California Pay Discrimination.
 
Colorado
 
 Until January 1, 2021, employers can't discriminate solely based on sex in the amount of wages or salary paid to employees. Effective January 1, 2021, employers must not discriminate between employees on the basis of sex, or on the basis of sex in combination with another protected status under the fair employment practices law, by paying an employee of one sex a wage rate less than the rate paid to an employee of a different sex for substantially similar work.
 Employers also can't discriminate in compensation against qualified employees or applicants based on disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age (40 and older), national origin, or ancestry. In addition, employers can't discriminate in compensation against employees or applicants with disabilities because they are accompanied by a service animal that is individually trained for them.
 Employers can't require employees to refrain from disclosing their wages as a condition of employment. Effective January 1, 2021, employers must not seek the wage rate history of a prospective employee or rely on the wage rate history of a prospective employee to determine their wage rate. Employers also may not use wage history to justify paying employees of one sex a wage rate less than the wage rate of employees of a different sex for substantially similar work.
 For more information, see Colorado Pay Discrimination.
 Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 8-5-102, 24-34-402

 
Connecticut
 
 Employers can't discriminate in compensation solely based on employees' sex. They also can't pay employees of one sex at wage rates that are lower than the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions. Unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification or need, employers can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. Employers can't prohibit employees from disclosing or discussing their wages or other employees' wages. Employers can't inquire about applicants' wage or salary history unless the applicant has voluntarily disclosed such information.
 Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 31-40z, 31-75, 31-76, 46a-60
 For more information, see Connecticut Pay Discrimination.

 
Delaware
 
 Employers can't pay employees of one sex at wage rates that are lower than the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions in the same workplace. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. Employers can't prohibit employees from asking about, discussing, or disclosing their wages or other employees' wages and can't discriminate against them for doing so. Employers also can't screen applicants based on their compensation history and can't seek this information from them or their current or former employers until after they accept an employment offer that includes compensation terms. For more information, see Delaware Pay Discrimination.
 
District of Columbia
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. For more information, see District of Columbia Pay Discrimination.
 
Florida
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on sex by paying employees of one sex at wage rates that are less than the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on certain protected classes. For more information, see Florida Pay Discrimination.
 
Georgia
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on sex. For more information, see Georgia Pay Discrimination.
 
Hawaii
 
 Employers can't discriminate in the payment of wages based on race, religion, or sex. Employers also can't discriminate against employees based on sex by paying employees of one sex at wage rates that are less than those paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar work conditions in the same establishment. In addition, employers can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law.
 Effective Jan. 1, 2019, employers can't prohibit employees from disclosing their wages, discussing or inquiring about other employees' wages, or aiding or encouraging other employees to exercise these rights. Employers can't inquire about applicants' salary history or rely on it to determine their salary, benefits, or other compensation during the hiring process, unless they disclose this information voluntarily and without prompting.
 For more information, see Hawaii Pay Discrimination.

 
Idaho
 
 Employers must pay equal wages for equal work and can't use gender as a basis to set compensation. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. For more information, see Idaho Pay Discrimination.
 
Illinois
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on sex, based on mental or physical disability, or against African-Americans in the payment of wages. Employers also can't discriminate against employees because they ask about, disclose, compare, or otherwise discuss their wages or other employees' wages. Effective Sept. 29, 2019, employers can't screen job applicants based on wage or salary history, and can't seek such information from applicants or their current or former employers unless such information is publicly available, or the applicant has voluntarily disclosed such information.
 Employers can't discriminate based on sex in negotiating or establishing wages, benefits, or other compensation. Employers also can't differentiate wages or benefits based on sex among employees performing the same or substantially similar work under similar work conditions.
 Employers can't employ women or minors at an oppressive and unreasonable wage. Employers also can't pay or agree to pay women or minors less than the rates applicable to them under a mandatory minimum fair wage order.
 For more information, see Illinois Pay Discrimination.

 
Indiana
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. For more information, see Indiana Pay Discrimination.
 
Iowa
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability. Specifically, employers can't pay wages to employees in a protected class at rates that are less than the rates paid to other employees for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions in the same establishment. For more information, see Iowa Pay Discrimination.
 
Kansas
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay on the basis of sex. For more information, see Kansas Pay Discrimination.
 
Kentucky
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on sex by paying employees of one sex at wage rates that are less the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for comparable work that requires comparable skill, effort, and responsibility in the same establishment. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. Separate provisions prohibit discrimination in wages or rates of pay based on disability or HIV-related test results. For more information, see Kentucky Pay Discrimination.
 
Louisiana
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on protected status categories under Louisiana fair employment practices law. For more information about pay discrimination prohibitions, see Louisiana Pay Discrimination.
 
Maine
 
 Employers can't pay employees of one sex at wage rates that are less than the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for comparable work that requires comparable skill, effort, and responsibility at the same establishment. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on certain protected classes under the fair employment practices law. Employers must allow employees to disclose their wages or ask about other employees' wages to enforce their rights under the equal pay law. Effective on or about Sept. 17, 2019, employers can't use or inquire about applicants'compensation histories, unless an employment offer that includes all terms of compensation has already been negotiated and made to the applicant, or disclosure or verification of compensation history is otherwise required by law. For more information, see Maine Pay Discrimination.
 
Maryland
 
 Employers can't pay employees of one sex or gender identity at wage rates that are less than those paid to employees of the opposite sex or gender identity if they work in the same establishment and perform work that is comparable or on the same operation, in the same business, or of the same type. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. In addition, employers generally must allow employees to ask about, discuss, or disclose their wages or other employees'wages. For more information, see Maryland Pay Discrimination.
 
Massachusetts
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on gender in the payment of wages. They also can't pay employees of one gender at salary or wage rates that are less than the rates paid to employees of a different gender for comparable work. In addition, employers can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law, unless this discrimination is based on a bona fide occupational qualification.
 Employers can't prohibit employees from asking about, discussing, or disclosing information about their wages or other employees' wages. Employers also can't seek applicants' wage or salary history from them or their current or former employers, unless an offer of employment with compensation has been negotiated and made, and can't require that this history meet certain criteria.
 For more information, see Massachusetts Pay Discrimination.

 
Michigan
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on pay. For more information, see Michigan Pay Discrimination.
 
Minnesota
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on sex. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on an employee's or applicant's status as a member of a class protected under the fair employment practices law. For more information, see Minnesota Pay Discrimination.
 
Mississippi
 
No data
Missouri
 
 Employers can't discriminate in compensation. For more information, see Missouri Pay Discrimination.
 
Montana
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on membership in a protected class. For more information, see Montana Pay Discrimination.
 
Nebraska
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. For more information, see Nebraska Pay Discrimination.
 
Nevada
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. For more information, see Nevada Pay Discrimination.
 
New Hampshire
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on sex. For more information, see New Hampshire Pay Discrimination.
 
New Jersey
 
 Employers can't discriminate in compensation or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. Employers also can't pay employees who are members of a protected class at a rate of compensation or benefits that is less than the rate paid to other employees for substantially similar work in terms of skill, effort, and responsibility;however, they can pay different rates of compensation or benefits under certain conditions. In addition, employers can't discriminate in wage rates or payment methods based on sex. Employers can't retaliate against employees for requesting, discussing, or disclosing certain compensation-related information, and can't require them to agree not to make these requests or disclosures. For more information, see New Jersey Pay Discrimination.
 
New Mexico
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on sex. Employers also can't discriminate in compensation against otherwise qualified employees based on race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, physical or mental handicap, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, unless such discrimination is based on a bona fide occupational qualification or another statutory prohibition. For more information, see New Mexico Pay Discrimination.
 
New York
 
 Employers can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. Until Oct. 8, 2019, under the equal pay law, employers can't pay wage rates to employees of one sex that are lower than the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions in the same establishment. Effective Oct. 8, 2019, the state's equal pay law prohibits employers from paying employees or interns who are members of protected classes under the fair employment practices law at wage rates that are lower than the wage rates paid to employees or interns who aren't members of the same protected classes for:• equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions in the same establishment; or
• substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions in the same establishment.

 Certain exceptions apply where the pay differential is based on a seniority system, merit system, or a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or where the differential is based on a bona fide factor other than protected class status.
 Effective Jan. 6, 2020, employers can't rely on applicants' salary history in deciding whether to offer them employment or determining their salary, and can't seek, request, or require applicants' or employees' salary history as a condition of employment or promotion. In addition, employers can't prohibit employees from asking about, discussing, or disclosing their wages or other employees' wages. For more information, see New York Pay Discrimination.

 
North Carolina
 
 Employers can't discriminate in compensation based on disability. For more information, see North Carolina Pay Discrimination.
 
North Dakota
 
 Employers cannot discriminate based on pay. For more information, see North Dakota Pay Discrimination.
 
Ohio
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on protected status categories under the equal pay law. For more information, see Ohio Pay Discrimination.
 
Oklahoma
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. For more information, see Oklahoma Pay Discrimination.
 
Oregon
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on a protected class. For more information, see Oregon Pay Discrimination.
 
Pennsylvania
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. For more information, see Pennsylvania Pay Discrimination.
 
Puerto Rico
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. For more information, see Puerto Rico Pay Discrimination.
 
Rhode Island
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. For more information, see Rhode Island Pay Discrimination.
 
South Carolina
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on protected classes under South Carolina fair employment practices law. For more information, see South Carolina Pay Discrimination.
 
South Dakota
 
 Employers cannot discriminate in pay based on protected status categories under South Dakota fair employment practices law. For more information, see South Dakota Pay Discrimination.
 
Tennessee
 
 Employers can't pay employees of one sex at wage rates or salaries that are lower than the wage rates or salaries paid to employees of the opposite sex for comparable work that requires comparable skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions. For more information, see Tennessee Pay Discrimination.
 
Texas
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on their membership in protected classes under the fair employment practices law. For more information, see Texas Pay Discrimination.
 
Utah
 
 Employers cannot discriminate in pay based on protected status categories under the fair employment practices law. For more information, see Utah Pay Discrimination summary.
 Utah Code Ann. § 34A-5-106

 
Vermont
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on sex by paying employees of one sex at wage rates that are less than the wage rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions. Employers also can't require employees not to disclose their wages and not to ask about or discuss other employees' wages. Employers can't ask about or seek information about applicants' current or past compensation from them or their current or former employers, except under certain conditions. For more information, see Vermont Pay Discrimination.
 
Virginia
 
 It is prohibited for employers to pay employees of one sex wage rates that are lower than the wage rates paid to employees of another sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that is performed in the same workplace under similar working conditions. It is unlawful employers to discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law.
 For more information, see Virginia Pay Discrimination.
 Va. Code Ann. §§ 2.2-3904 to 2.2-3905 , 40.1-28.6

 
Washington
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on gender in providing compensation to employees who are similarly employed, or discriminate based on gender by limiting employees' career advancement opportunities or depriving them of such opportunities that would otherwise be available. In addition, employers can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law, unless a bona fide occupational qualification applies. Employers can't require employees to refrain from disclosing their wages and can't retaliate against them for discussing their wages or other employees'wages. They also can't seek the wage or salary history of any job applicant, from the applicant or his or her current or former employer, or require that an applicant's prior wage or salary history meet certain criteria. For more information, see Washington Pay Discrimination.
 
West Virginia
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on pay. For more information, see West Virginia Pay Discrimination.
 
Wisconsin
 
 Employers can't discriminate in compensation based on protected classes under the fair employment practices law. Employers can solicit information about applicants' salary history. For more information, see Wisconsin Pay Discrimination.
 
Wyoming
 
 Employers can't discriminate in pay based on gender. For more information, see Wyoming Pay Discrimination.
 
STATES AGE DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS IN STATE LAW 
 
Alabama
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age. For more information, see Alabama Age Discrimination.
 
Alaska
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, unless a distinction on that basis is required by business necessity or a position's reasonable demands. For more information, see Alaska Age Discrimination.
 
Arizona
 
 Employers generally can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification. For more information, see Arizona Age Discrimination.
 
Arkansas
 
No data
California
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless a permissible defense applies. For more information, see California Age Discrimination.
 
Colorado
 
 Employers cannot discriminate against qualified employees or applicants based on age (40 and older), unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification or discrimination is based on reasonable factors other than age. Employers also cannot discriminate based on age among employees and applicants in the protected age group. For more information, see Colorado Age Discrimination.
 Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 24-34-301, 24-34-401, 24-34-402 (see Smart Code® for the latest cases)
 3 Colo. Code Regs. § 708-1-10.2

 
Connecticut
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification or need. Retirement or pension plans can't exclude employees or cease or reduce their benefit accruals or allocations based on age.
 Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60
 For more information, see Connecticut Age Discrimination.

 
Delaware
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless this factor is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to normal business operations. For more information, see Delaware Age Discrimination.
 
District of Columbia
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on actual or perceived age (18 to 65), unless this discrimination can be justified by business necessity and they can show that it isn't intentionally unlawful. For more information, see District of Columbia Age Discrimination.
 
Florida
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, unless this discrimination is justified by a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to job performance. For more information, see Florida Age Discrimination.
 
Georgia
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 to 70). For more information, see Georgia Age Discrimination.
 
Hawaii
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, except as permitted for certain bona fide occupational qualifications. For more information, see Hawaii Age Discrimination.
 
Idaho
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older); however, they can hire based on age if it is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to normal business operations. For more information, see Idaho Age Discrimination.
 
Illinois
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on (effective Jan. 1, 2020, actual or perceived) age (40 and older). They also can't discriminate based on age (18 to 39) in making selections for or referrals to apprenticeship or other training programs or in conducting these programs. Employers can apply different compensation standards or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment pursuant to retirement systems if these systems and their administration aren't used as a subterfuge for, and don't result in, unlawful discrimination. For more information, see Illinois Age Discrimination. For related harassment provisions, see “Harassment” in this summary.
 
Indiana
 
 Employers can't discriminate against employees and applicants based on age in hiring, rehiring and termination.
 For more information, see Indiana Age Discrimination.

 
Iowa
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, unless this discrimination is based on the nature of the occupation. This prohibition doesn't apply to anyone under age 18, unless the person is considered by law to be an adult. For more information, see Iowa Age Discrimination.
 
Kansas
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless there is a valid business necessity for this discrimination. Employers also can't set arbitrary age limits for employment or make pre-employment inquiries that discriminate based on age, unless these limits or inquiries are based on bona fide occupational requirements.
 Employers can discriminate based on age if differentiations also are based on necessary factors other than age. Employers also can observe the terms of retirement plans or benefit systems that differentiate costs based on age if these plans or systems weren't created to evade the age discrimination prohibitions; however, the plans or systems can't require or permit involuntary retirement and can't be used to justify a failure to hire. In addition, employers can compel the retirement of employees who are age 65 or older if they are an executive or other high-ranking employee for the two-year period immediately preceding retirement and they are entitled to an immediate, nonforfeitable, annual retirement benefit of at least $44,000 from pension, profit-sharing, savings, or deferred compensation plans.
 Employers must communicate the essential terms of seniority systems to affected employees.
 For more information, see Kansas Age Discrimination.

 
Kentucky
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 or older); however, they can establish minimum hiring ages that are otherwise provided by law. For more information, see Kentucky Age Discrimination.
 
Louisiana
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older). For more information about age discrimination prohibitions, see Louisiana Age Discrimination.
 
Maine
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age. For more information, see Maine Age Discrimination.
 
Maryland
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, although they can make hiring or employment decisions based on age if age is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to normal business operations. For more information, see Maryland Age Discrimination.
 
Massachusetts
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless this discrimination is based on a bona fide occupational qualification. Employers also can't discharge employees over age 40 or refuse to employ applicants over age 40 because of their age, except as permitted by the retirement provisions. Employers can mandate retirement for employees, age 65 or older, under certain conditions. For more information, see Massachusetts Age Discrimination.
 
Michigan
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to normal business operations. For more information, see Michigan Age Discrimination.
 
Minnesota
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, unless this discrimination is justified by a bona fide occupational qualification. For more information, see Minnesota Age Discrimination.
 
Mississippi
 
No data
Missouri
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 to 69). For more information, see Missouri Age Discrimination.
 
Montana
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, unless a position's reasonable demands require distinctions based on age. For more information, see Montana Age Discrimination.
 
Nebraska
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older). For more information, see Nebraska Age Discrimination.
 
Nevada
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless age (40 and older) is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to normal business operations. For more information, see Nevada Age Discrimination.
 
New Hampshire
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age, unless a bona fide occupational qualification applies. For more information, see New Hampshire Age Discrimination.
 
New Jersey
 
 Employers generally can't discriminate based on age. However, they can refuse to employ anyone under age 18 and can refuse to hire or promote anyone over age 70. Employers can require employees' retirement under certain conditions. For more information, see New Jersey Age Discrimination.
 
New Mexico
 
 Employers can't discriminate against otherwise qualified employees and applicants based on age, unless such discrimination is based on a bona fide occupational qualification or another statutory prohibition. For more information, see New Mexico Age Discrimination.
 
New York
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (18 and older). Employers generally can't require employees to retire based on age, unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to normal business operations. For more information, see New York Age Discrimination.
 
North Carolina
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age.
 For more information, see North Carolina Age Discrimination.

 
North Dakota
 
 Employers cannot discriminate based on age (40 and older). Employers can compel the retirement of employees who have reached 65, but not 70, years of age; were an executive or other high policymaking employee for the two-year period immediately preceding retirement; and are entitled to an immediate, nonforfeiture annual retirement benefit from a pension, profit-sharing, savings or other deferred compensation plan or any combination of such plans, which total at least $44,000.
 For more information, see North Dakota Age Discrimination.

 
Ohio
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older). Employers can't discriminate in any job opening against any applicant or discharge any employee without just cause based on age. Employers can establish a bona fide job-related employment qualification;observe terms of a bona fide seniority system or employee benefit plan, such as a retirement, pension or insurance plan, that isn't created to evade discrimination prohibitions; and observe any bona fide apprenticeship program. However, no retirement plan or system can require or permit involuntary retirement or excuse failure to hire based on age. An employer can retire an employee who has attained 65, was a bona fide executive or high policymaking employee for the two-year period immediately before retirement and is entitled to an immediate nonforfeitable annual retirement benefit from a pension, profit-sharing, savings or deferred compensation plan that, in the aggregate, equals at least $44,000.
 For more information, see Ohio Age Discrimination.

 
Oklahoma
 
 Employers can't discriminate against employees and applicants age 40 to 70. However, in certain circumstances, employers can provide additional benefits, such as increased severance pay, to older employees.
 It isn't discriminatory to require the retirement of employees age 65 or older if such employees have been employed in an executive or high policy-making position for the two-year period immediately before retirement and are entitled to an immediate annual retirement benefit that can't be forfeited and totals at least $44,000.
 Age limitations for apprenticeship programs are permitted.
 For more information, see Oklahoma Age Discrimination.

 
Oregon
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (18 and older), unless this discrimination is justified by a bona fide occupational qualification. For more information, see Oregon Age Discrimination.
 
Pennsylvania
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless this discrimination is based on a bona fide occupational qualification or applicable federal or state security regulations. For more information, see Pennsylvania Age Discrimination.
 
Puerto Rico
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age. For more information, see Puerto Rico Age Discrimination.
 
Rhode Island
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older). For more information, see Rhode Island Age Discrimination.
 
South Carolina
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to normal business operations. For more information, see South Carolina Age Discrimination.
 
South Dakota
 
No data
Tennessee
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), except where age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business or the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age. Employers also are permitted to observe the terms of bona fide seniority systems or employee benefit plans that aren't taken to evade the intent of the discrimination prohibitions.
 Involuntary retirement of covered employees generally isn't permitted. However, compulsory retirement is permitted in the case of employees who are at least 65 and have been employed for a two-year period immediately before retirement in a bona fide executive or high policy-making position, provided that they are entitled to an immediate annual retirement benefit that isn't forfeitable and totals at least $44,000.
 For more information, see Tennessee Age Discrimination.

 
Texas
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older), unless such actions are justified by business necessity or a bona fide occupational qualification. For more information, see Texas Age Discrimination.
 
Utah
 
 Employers cannot discriminate based on age (40 and older). For more information, see Utah Age Discrimination summary.
 Utah Code Ann. § 34A-5-106

 
Vermont
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (18 and older), unless a bona fide occupational qualification requires people of a particular age. For more information, see Vermont Age Discrimination.
 
Virginia
 
 It is unlawful for employers to discriminate bases on age (40 or older), unless, age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably related to the employer's normal operation. It is unlawful for employers with more than five but fewer than 20 employees to discharge employees on the basis of age.
 For more information, see Virginia Age Discrimination.
 Va. Code Ann. §§ 2.2-3900 to 2.2-3905

 
Washington
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on actual or perceived age (40 to 70), unless a bona fide occupational qualification applies. For more information, see Washington Age Discrimination.
 
West Virginia
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 or older), unless this discrimination is based on bona fide occupational qualifications or applicable federal or state security regulations. For more information, see West Virginia Age Discrimination.
 
Wisconsin
 
 Employers can't discriminate based on age (40 and older). For more information, see Wisconsin Age Discrimination.
 
Wyoming
 
 Employers can't discriminate against qualified employees and applicants based on age (40 and older). For more information, see Wyoming Age Discrimination.
 

Source: Bloomberg Law

Please note NCSL cannot provide advice or assistance to private citizens or businesses regarding employment-related matters. Please consult your state department of labor or a private attorney.

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