The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 is a federal statute that shields both employees and, unlike the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, students, from age-based discrimination in educational settings. Patterned after& Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” (42 U.S.C. § 6102 (1975)).
Statutory provisions in the Age Discrimination Act exempt age-based actions that are necessary for a program’s operation or achievement of its statutory objective. The law also incorporates a statute of limitations for bringing claims that requires plaintiffs to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit. Under the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, the Age Discrimination Act applies to all aspects of an educational institution if any part of its operations receives federal funds. While used by plaintiffs infrequently, the Age Discrimination Act provides a statutory basis for students or employees under age 40 to bring age-based discrimination claims against colleges and universities.