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Age Discrimination

Age Discrimination

The Missouri Human Rights Act (the Act) protects individuals who are 40 or more years of age but less than 70 years of age from employment discrimination based on the individual's age. The Act’s protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the Act, 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 Act applies to employers with six or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, "temp services", and labor organizations. The Act’s protections include:

Job Notices and Advertisements

The Act generally makes it unlawful to include age preferences, limitations, or specifications in job notices or advertisements. A job notice or advertisement may specify an age limit only in the rare circumstance where age is shown to be a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ), that is, it is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business.

Pre-Employment Inquiries

The Act does not specifically prohibit an employer from asking an applicant's age or date of birth. However, because such inquiries may deter older workers from applying for employment or may otherwise indicate possible intent to discriminate based on age, requests for age information will be closely scrutinized to make sure that the inquiry was made for a lawful purpose, rather than for a purpose prohibited by the Act.

This Pre-Employment Inquiries page gives guidance to job seekers and employers about what questions to stay away from during the hiring process.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against, you can file a complaint of discrimination.