Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal of damages

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order denying petition for review by the defendants in an age discrimination (ADEA) lawsuit.

In this case, the EEOC successfully sued Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, an international law firm, for downgrading and forcing out partners under an age-based retirement policy (based on reaching age 65).

The firm appealed the 7th Circuit decision, which upheld the EEOC's right to seek individual relief (money, reinstatement) even though none of the individual partners filed claims of discrimination.

Upshot? Another win for the EEOC and a reminder that employment decisions, whether to hire, promote, demote, or terminate, should be based on the person's ability to do the job, not their chronological age.

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