Commentary & Opinion
By Jon Hyman
Mar. 21, 2018
A Michigan oral surgery practice has agreed to pay $47,000 to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The agency alleged that it violated the ADEA by maintaining a policy that required employees to retire at at 65. The lawsuit stemmed from the firing of an employee four days after her 65th birthday.
According to Kenneth Bird, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office, “December 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the ADEA, Five decades later, the EEOC remains committed to vigorously enforcing that all-important law. Private employers need to understand that mandatory retirement policies run afoul of the ADEA and will be met with challenge.”
He’s absolutely correct.
In truth, with the exception of a few limited circumstances, mandatory retirement ages are about as close to a slam-dunk case of illegal age discrimination you can find. The exceptions permit — but do not require — mandatory retirement:
What steps can employers take to help facilitate the transition of aging employees out of the workplace, without committing age discrimination? Consider the following four suggestions, culled from the tips offered by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies):
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