Section 201 of the Congressional Accountability
Act (CAA) provides that all personnel actions affecting covered
employees shall be free from age discrimination for those forty
years old or older. This includes hiring, discharge, promotion,
pay, benefits, reassignment, and other personnel actions affecting
the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
motivation depends on the facts of a particular case. For example,
placing a phrase like "age 25-50," "young,"
or "college student" in a help-wanted notice or advertisement
may be evidence of a possible discriminatory motive. Furthermore,
a covered employee must prove that he or she was treated differently
from others in similar circumstances, and that age was a motivating
factor in that treatment.
A covered employee over forty may also assert
that he or she is harassed
because of age. Insults, jokes, slurs, or other conduct relating
to age may be unlawful if they create a hostile work environment
or interfere with an individual's work performance.
The CAA only protects individuals who are at
least forty years old against discrimination; individuals younger
than forty are not protected. Bona
fide seniority or merit systems may be used so long as they
are not instituted to discriminate on the basis of age.