Today the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final revised regulations on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) that take into account the Supreme Court's 2004 decision in General Dynamics v. Cline. In Cline the court determined that employers could lawfully give preference to an older worker over a younger worker in situations where both were covered by the Act (i.e., both are over 40).
So what's changed? Changes have been made to three sections in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations:
- Section 1625.2 has been re-worded to clarify that employers may give preference to the older applicant in the scenario described above but states there is no requirement to do so and that this does not impact applicable state, municipal, or local laws that prohibit such preferences.
- Section 1625.4 has been similarly re-worded to clarify that employers may use language in job advertisements such as "over age 60", "retirees", or "supplement your pension"--this is exactly the opposite of what the rule stated previously.
- Section 1625.5 has been re-worded but no significant changes to content were made.
The revised regulations are available in either PDF or text format (PDF is much easier to read). Anyone with an interest in this area should read this Federal Register entry because it goes (briefly) into more detail about what the revision does and doesn't do.
EEOC press release is here.