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Can you give inferior benefits to disabled retirees? Courts split

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) recently ruled that a company doesn't violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it provides less generous retirement benefits to disabled retirees.

The court's reasoning: While such workers are disabled, they're not protected under the ADA because they're totally disabled and unable to perform the essential functions of their job. (Morgan v. Joint Administration Board, No. 00-3859, 7th Cir., 2001)

Caution: Before you rush to save money on your retirement benefits, have your employment law attorney check your circuit's stance on this issue. Other circuits have ruled that disabled retirees can be covered by the ADA. These include the 2nd Circuit (Connecticut, New York and Vermont) and the 3rd Circuit (Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania).

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