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Police officers’ age bias case reinstated

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A Minnesota appeals court has given the go-ahead for an age discrimination lawsuit filed by three police officers against the city of Richfield to proceed to trial.

The three officers, all over age 40, sued in 2013 alleging the city changed its hiring procedure to inflate the scores of younger applicants for detective positions on the force. The result, they claim, is that the city placed applicants with far less training and experience in those jobs.

The Hennepin District Court had initially sided with the city in dismissing the complaints, but the appeals court ruled the three officers raised issues of fact that must be decided by a jury.

Note: Any time an employer changes hiring procedures, it is essential to evaluate wheth­­­­­er the new process has a disparate impact on older workers or other protected classes. If so, the employer better be able to show that no less-discriminatory process could have achieved the same result.

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