Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ)
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who are 40 years of age or older. The purpose of this Act is to promote the employment of older workers based on their ability rather than age and prohibit arbitrary ways of resolving problems arising from the impact of age on employment. The Act does not protect under-40 employees from age discrimination in the workplace. The following three elements must be met to establish a BFOQ (bona fide occupational qualification):
- The age limit is reasonably necessary to the essence of the business;
- All or substantially all individuals excluded from the job because of age are not able to perform it safely or efficiently; an
Some of the individuals excluded possess a disqualifying trait or susceptibility that cannot be explained except by the use of an age-based qualification.