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Careful how often you suggest retirement

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Remind bosses: Be careful how you approach discussing potential retirement plans. Asking too often or in a way that’s not business-related may precipitate an age discrimination lawsuit if the employee loses her job or is demoted after such conversations.

Note: A one-time, casual inquiry about future plans during succession planning is OK. Just don’t push it.

Recent case: Mary worked for Morrison County for 30 years until she was terminated for paperwork mistakes. She sued, alleging she had really been fired because of her age. She claimed that while she was on vacation, her supervisor had casually asked her daughter (who apparently worked for the county also) if her mother was considering retirement.

The court said that persistent questions about retirement plans may be age bias evidence, one casual question is not enough. It tossed out the case. (Doucette v. Mor­­ri­­son County, No. 13-2424, 8th Cir., 2014)

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