Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
Also known as: OWBPA, Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990, ADEA
Signed into law by George H. W. Bush
October 16, 1990
The OWBPA amended the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 to clarify the protections given to older individuals in regard to employee benefit plans, and for other purposes. The Act prohibits employers from denying benefits to older workers. Recognizing that the cost of providing some benefits to older workers is greater than the cost of providing those benefits to younger workers, Congress passed this amendment to counteract the disincentive to hire older employees. The Act also includes requirements for an employee to properly waive an ADEA claim.
Enforcement & Remedies
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the first step in enforcing the ADEA. An employee who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in violation of the ADEA must first pursue his or her claims with the EEOC. After pursuing an ADEA claim with the EEOC, the employee may file a civil lawsuit against the employer. Remedies available to an employee who is discriminated against in violation of the ADEA include back pay, front pay, liquidated damages if the violation is willful, and attorney’s fees.