FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Claire Gonzales September 19, 1996 Reginald Welch (202) 663-4900 TDD: (202) 663-4494
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued enforcement guidance on the Supreme Court's decision in the age discrimination case O'Connor v. Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp. The guidance analyzes the impact of the decision on EEOC's enforcement activities.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (ADEA), prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older. In the O'Connor case, the Supreme Court held that in order to establish a prima facie case of age discrimination, an employee alleging discharge on the basis of age does not have to show that he or she was replaced by someone under the age of 40.
The guidance, written in a user-friendly question-and-answer format, addresses a number of issues raised by the O'Connor decision, particularly as they affect EEOC charge handling procedures. It emphasizes that EEOC will not dismiss an age charge without investigation solely because the replacement worker is only slightly younger than the charging party.
Although O'Connor was decided under the ADEA, the enforcement guidance extends to EEOC-enforced statutes covering other bases of discrimination. The guidance clarifies and reaffirms EEOC's position that cases should not be dismissed solely because the replacement or comparable worker was a member of the same protected group as the charging party.
In addition to enforcing the ADEA, EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; the Equal Pay Act; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government.
This page was last modified on January 15, 1997.
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