Age Discrimination

Age Discrimination

The Missouri Human Rights Act (Act) protects individuals who are 40 to 69  years old from employment discrimination based on the individual's age. The Act’s protections apply to employees, job applicants, and former employees. Under the Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her/their 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, as well as to state and local governments, employment agencies, "temp services," and labor organizations.

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.

MCHR Contact

Missouri Commission on Human Rights
421 E. Dunklin
P.O. Box 1129
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1129
Phone: 573-751-3325
Toll-Free Complaint Hotline: 1-877-781-4236
Relay Missouri: 711
Relay Missouri: 1-800-735-2966 (TDD)
Fax: 573-751-2905 for intake inquiries and new filings and for general inquiries