Notice & Comment

NEH Requests Comment On Age Discrimination Act Regulations, by Shannon Allen

The National Endowment for the Humanities (“NEH”) recently proposed rules regarding complying with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (“Age Act”) and incorporating “general, government-wide age discrimination regulations” by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”).

The Age Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.  Under the Age Act, recipients may not exclude, deny, or limit services to, or otherwise discriminate against, persons on the basis of age.  Agencies are required to publish agency-specific regulations implementing the Age Act.

NEH’s initial agency-specific regulations were approved by HHS in 1985, but were not published.The proposal noted that “[s]ince such a significant amount of time has passed since NEH initially drafted the proposed rule, and because regulatory development guidelines have changed over the years, NEH determined that it would be best to begin the regulatory process anew by drafting new agency-specific age discrimination regulations.”

The NEH’s newly proposed rules are designed to “guide the actions of recipients of Federal financial assistance from NEH . . . .”

The regulations are divided into four parts:

  • Subpart A – General: Explains the purpose of the regulations and defines terms (e.g. recipient, normal operation, and statutory objective).
  • Subpart B – Standards for Determining Age Discrimination: Establishes a four-part test for age-based distinctions to satisfy the “normal operation” or “statutory objective,” so recipients can take otherwise prohibited action if the action is based on “reasonable factors other than age.”
  • Subpart C – Responsibilities of NEH Recipients: Ensures recipient (and sub-recipient) programs and activities are in compliance.
  • Subpart D – Investigation, Conciliation, and Enforcement Procedures: Establishes mediation (within 60 days) as the first step in the complaint process and permits NEH to disburse funds to an appropriate alternate recipient.

Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before July 15, 2013.  Interested parties should reference “Age Discrimination Act Regulations” on correspondence and may submit comments to the attention of Gina Raimond by any of the following methods:

  • Email to
  • Fax to 202-606-8600
  • Postal mail to: Gina Raimond, Attorney Advisor, Office of the General Counsel, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Room 529, Washington, DC 20506.

This post was originally published on the legacy ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Notice and Comment blog, which merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog in 2015.

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