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Minnesota agencies settle retirees’ age-bias lawsuit

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in Compensation and Benefits,Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The Minnesota departments of Natural Resources, Commerce and Public Safety have settled EEOC age discrimination charges that resulted from early retirement packages offered to senior state employees.

Under the initial terms of the offers, the state would not have contributed to health insurance premiums for employees who were age 55 or older when they retired.

Retirees from the three departments filed suit alleging the age-based policy violated the Age Dis­­crimination in Employment Act (ADEA). (See “State agencies slapped with age discrimination suits.”)

The EEOC agreed and filed three suits on behalf of the retirees. Under the settlement, the state will pay back premiums of $574,195 to 13 retirees, and pay all appropriate ­premiums moving forward.

Note: Any benefit that employers reduce based on an employee’s age violates the ADEA.

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