If your organization wants to cutcosts, the U.S. Supreme Court just flashed the green light on one tactic: You can offer more generous benefits to older employees than to younger ones without violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
The ruling preserves your right to offer severance packages, retiree health benefits or other perks to employees who reach a certain age, say 50 or 60. The court said employees in their 40s who aren't old enough to claim such benefits can't sue for "reverse" age discrimination.
Recent case: A group of 200 General Dynamic employees in their 40s sued the company, citing reverse age discrimination because they couldn't receive retiree medical benefits that were available to employees age 50 and older. A lower court sided with the employees, but the Supreme Court overturned that ruling Feb. 24, effectively choking off such "youth-based" claims in the future. (General Dynamics Land Systems Inc. v. Cline, 02-1080)
The debate surrounded interpretation of the ADEA, which outlaws discrimination against employees age 40 and older "because of the individual's age."
In most cases, people file ADEA lawsuits when they feel a younger person has received preferential treatment. This case dealt with the reverse: Should 40-something employees be able to sue if an older employee is favored? In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court said "No"; the ADEA is intended to protect older workers, not younger ones, even if the older workers were treated better.
Note: Check your state law on this topic. Some states ban age bias against employees of all ages, not just those over 40.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/402/you-can-offer-better-benefits-to-older-workers-supreme-court-rules "