Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a final rule amending a regulation under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court's decision interpreting the Act to permit employers to favor older workers because of age. In General Dynamics Land Systems Inc. v. Cline, 540 U.S. 581 (2004), which is summarized at the second link below, the Court held that a group of employees between ages 40 to 49 could not state an age discrimination claim against General Dynamics for eliminating their retiree health benefits while retaining such benefits for employees ages 50 and over. This holding invalidates the EEOC's current regulation, which prohibits any age-based preference among persons 40 or over, regardless of whether the treatment favors the older or the younger person. The final regulations state that favoring an older person over a younger person is not unlawful discrimination, even if the younger person is at least 40 years old. The EEOC changed its regulation of help wanted advertisements to state that such advertisements may encourage relatively older persons to apply. In the final rule, the EEOC makes clear that employers are not required to favor older individuals and the final regulations do not affect applicable state, municipal, or local laws that prohibit such preferences. The final regulations are effective July 6, 2007.
72 Fed. Reg. 36,873 (July 6, 2007)
[NSBA School Law pages on General Dynamics Land Systems Inc. v. Cline]
[EEOC notice of proposed rulemaking]