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On July 6, 2007, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued revised regulations on age discrimination in the workplace in accordance with a 2004 Supreme Court decision, General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline.

The revised regulations clarify that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") does not prohibit employers from favoring an older employee over a younger one when both are protected by the Act. The ADEA protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA's protections apply to both employees and job applicants.

Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local governments.

The new rule provides that the ADEA only prohibits discrimination based on relatively older age, not discrimination based on age generally. Thus, the new rule deletes language in EEOC's former ADEA regulations that prohibited discrimination against relatively younger individuals. The new rule explains that the ADEA only prohibits employment discrimination based on old age and, therefore, does not prohibit employers from favoring relatively older individuals.

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