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Are there laws which govern how music competitions may discriminate based on age?

Roslyn, WA |

Composer Age Discrimination – Can a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which relies on donations advertised as "tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law" be viewed as discriminatory in the eyes of the law if it holds music composer competitions and sets an arbitrary guideline prohibiting submissions from persons over the age of 35 particularly if the organization's mission statement is not specific to any age group but is of a general nature such as one stating "Our mission is to enrich the cultural vitality of the [sic] region and to offer a unique experience to exceptionally talented musicians."? How is denying composers older than age 35 helping to achieve this mission?

Attorney Answers 2


These facts do not raise any actionable issue of discrimination. Tax status does not cause the org to incur specific employment liabilities and obligations not otherwise applicable.

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Discrimination laws do not come in to play in this situation.

If the organization said it was not going to hire any *employees* over 40, there could be something. But having a chartered purpose to serve young composers would be be considered discrimination.

Clark County, Nevada practitioner.

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