Who is Covered by the ADEA & the Taft-Hartley Act

Who Is Covered by the ADEA & The Taft-Hartley Act

Was a major revision of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (the Wagner Act) and represented the first major revision of a New Deal act passed by a post-war Congress. So, in order to understand the Taft-Hartley Act, one must begin with the Wagner Act. The Wagner Act was the most important labor law in American history. It gave a major impetus to labor organizations and earned the nickname “labor’s bill of rights.” It covered all firms and employees in activities affecting interstate commerce except government employees, agricultural workers, and those subject to the Railway Labor Act. It gave workers the right to organize and join labor unions, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to strike. It also set up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent federal agency with three members appointed by the president, to administer the act and gave it the power to certify that a union represented a particular group of employees.

The Wagner Act also forbade employers from engaging in five types of labor practices:

1) Interfering with or restraining employees exercising their right to organize and bargain collectively; 2) Attempting to dominate or influence a labor union; 3) Refusing to bargain collectively and in “good faith” with unions representing their employees; 4) Encouraging or discouraging union membership through any special conditions of employment or through discrimination against union or non-union members in hiring. 5) This last provision, in effect, permitted closed and union shops (a closed shop is when an employer agrees to hire only union members and a union shop is when an employer agrees to require anyone hired to join the union). There were no provisions in the Wagner Act that prohibited union practices that Congress might deem unfair. Another omission, according to the act’s opponents, was a provision that would allow the government to delay or block a strike that threatened national interests.


Age Discrimination at Work

Workers should get and keep jobs based on their ability, not age. After all that is what I am doing by going back to school to better myself, and I will be 50 when I’m done. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects people age 40 and over from employment discrimination based on age. The law says that an employer may not fire, refuse to hire, or treat you differently than other employees because of your age.

Who Is Covered by the ADEA?

The law covers workers and job applicants age 40 and over. The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees. This includes local and state governments and the federal government. It also includes employment agencies and labor unions. The ADEA does not apply to independent contractors or elected officials. It does not usually cover police and fire workers, certain federal employees in air traffic control or law enforcement, or certain highly paid executives. While persons in these positions could be retired on a mandatory basis, they cannot be denied a promotion or training base on age. There are exceptions to the ADEA when age is a necessary part of a job. For example, an employer can hire a young person to play the role of a 12-year-old in a play. Most states have anti-age discrimination laws that apply to employers with fewer than 20 employees.

What does the ADEA forbid? Job ads or recruitment materials cannot mention age or say that a certain age is preferred. Programs cannot set age limits for their trainees. Age can not be a factor in making any decisions about workers. This includes decisions about hiring, pay, promotions, or layoffs. Employers cannot take action against workers who file a charge of age discrimination or who participate in any ADEA process. With a few exceptions, employers cannot force employees to retire at a certain age.


If you are middle-aged, or even younger, keep in mind that, as GO60.com reports, you are not alone:

There are over 16 million Americans over 55 who are either working or seeking work. Older workers are getting new jobs at an annual rate of 4.1 percent. This is more than double the .8 percent rate in the general population. Older Americans make up 10 percent of the workforce, but account for 22 percent of the nation’s job growth. By 2015, the number of employees over 55 will reach a record 31.9 million, compared to 18.4 million in 2000.


I have owned and operated a small business for the past 21 years and I have 3 women working for me that are over 50 and I would not trade them for the world they are great workers and very dependable workers.

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