Arkansas Age Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Arkansas Age Discrimination: What you need to know

The Arkansas Civil Rights Act contains no provisions on age discrimination. However, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to private employers with 20 or more employees. Arkansas employers that are covered by the ADEA are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of age (40 years old or older).
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The Arkansas Public Employer Age Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination in public employment against persons who are at least 40 years of age (AR Code Ann. Sec. 21-3-201 et seq.).
Under the Act it is unlawful for a public employer to:
• Refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or to discriminate with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
• Limit, segregate, or classify employees in any way that tends to deprive an individual of employment opportunities, or otherwise adversely affect status as an employee based on age.
• Reduce the wage rate of an employee in order to comply with the Act's requirements.
“Public employers” defined. Public employers include any agency, department, board, commission, bureau, council, institution, or other entities supported by state or federal funds, or any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state. The term specifically includes public universities, colleges, and public school districts.
Grounds for dismissal. Every state agency must include a statement in its personnel manual that discrimination by any officer or employee based on race, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, or gender is grounds for dismissal. Any employee found guilty of discrimination by a court may be discharged from employment (AR Code Sec. 21-12-103 ).
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception.

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