I know that it is illegal to discriminate solely on the basis of age in the hiring process. I know that it is intended to help those that are over 40. But does it still apply to those over the age of retirement? Could a 70 year old individual make a reasonable legal claim against a company that passes over his application solely for the purpose of his age? I'm not asking if it would be successful, but whether the law is intended to apply to someone that might be too old to be considered in the job market?
Yes - there is no age upper limit written in the law. However it does include this exception at 29 U.S. Code § 623(f)(1): allowing an employer -
(1) to take any action otherwise prohibited under subsections (a), (b), (c), or (e) of this section where age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business,
and there may be actual job requirements that a specific older person might not be able to perform and therefore they would be eliminated from further consideration legally.