Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: age discrimination

Sixth Circuit upholds termination of human resources employee for employment application misrepresentations and performance deficiencies

Agreeing with the district court’s assessment that “résumé misrepresentations by a senior human resources professional represent an infraction so egregious as to defy correction by mere counseling or other lesser discipline,” the 6th Circuit on April 23, 2018, rejected an appeal from a summary judgment order on claims of pregnancy, race, and age discrimination and retaliation in Bailey v. Oakwood Healthcare, Inc..

Michelle Bailey, a 40 year old African-American woman, was fired from her position as a senior staffing professional at Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. (Oakwood) on the day she returned from a three-month maternity leave. During her maternity …

Employers Beware: That Policy Against Re-Hiring Retirees Might Violate the ADEA

The Ohio Court of Claims in Richard Warden v. Ohio Department of Natural Resources held that, at least for public employers, a policy against re-hiring retired employees had a discriminatory impact on age.

Richard Warden worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in the Mineral Resources Management (MRM) Division for over 30 years before accepting a buyout and retiring. At the time, he was 51 years old. Following his retirement, he was awarded four one-year contracts for part-time work performing the same type of work that he performed before he retired. In 2010, MRM posted a full-time position performing …

Hockey Firing Raises Age Discrimination Issue

Generally, the firing of a professional sports team’s general manager is not going to raise my interest as an employment lawyer, but the comments made by the owner of the Chicago Blackhawks after Dale Tallon was fired certainly piqued my interest. Those hockey fans in the audience may know that Tallon’s firing came shortly after the NHLPA filed a grievance claiming that he failed to send out timely qualifying offers to players that were restricted free agents. Rather than risking those players becoming unrestricted free agents, Tallon quickly signed them to long term contracts that probably aggravates the team’s salary …

United States Supreme Court Holds That Collective Bargaining Agreements May Require Union Members to Arbitrate Discrimination Claims

On April 1, 2009, in a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court clarified an issue of confusion among lower courts when it held that “a collective-bargaining agreement that clearly and unmistakably requires a union member to arbitrate ADEA claims is enforceable as a matter of federal law.” 

The case, 14 Penn Plaza, LLC v. Pyett, No. 07-581, 556 U.S. ___ (2009), is a marked departure from established precedent in some jurisdictions and welcome news for employers who often prefer to present their cases to an arbitrator, rather than a jury. 


Until 14 Penn Plaza, the Supreme Court’s …

Supreme Court OKs Employer Use of Age as a Factor In Pension Plans

In Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, No. 06-1037, 2008 WL 2445078 (U.S. June 19, 2008), the Supreme Court recently held that “where an employer adopts a pension plan that includes age as a factor” (in determining eligibility for retirement with pension benefits), and the employer subsequently “treats employees differently based on pension status,” the plan does not automatically violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Rather, the Court held that the plaintiff challenging such a policy must show that the differential treatment was “actually motivated” by age. In a 5-4 decision — with a rather strange alignment of …

New EEOC Rule Makes an Exemption to Erie Decision and Allows Coordination of Healthcare Benefits for Retirees with Medicare

On December 26, the EEOC announced a new rule that makes it easier for employers to help retirees maintain adequate healthcare benefits.  In particular, employers that provide retiree healthcare benefits may coordinate those benefits with Medicare benefits without engaging in age discrimination based on the difference in ages between younger non-Medicare-eligible retirees and older Medicare-eligible retirees.

In today’s employment landscape, fewer employers provide retiree benefits.  This forces many retired employees to rely solely on Medicare benefits to cover increasing healthcare costs—at best, a difficult situation.  As a result, many employers are searching for viable ways to continue to provide healthcare …