Posts tagged Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

How can I sue thee? Let me count the ways.

Not sure I'm buying it.

How's your employment law history knowledge?

I can't imagine why they would.

Another chapter in a continuing saga.

An argument can be made.

An important victory for age plaintiffs.

(Not an actual letter from Mr. Kleber.

(Not an actual letter from Mr. Kleber.)

Last week, I received a scathing comment from Dale Kleber, a Chicago-area lawyer and a plaintiff in an age discrimination lawsuit. Mr. Kleber did not like my gut reaction to his lawsuit, which was based on an article that I’d read in The Washington Post. It appeared to me that Mr. Kleber — then a 58-year-old lawyer with roughly 30 years of experience, including experience as a CEO of a dairy industry trade group, Chief Legal Counsel, and General Counsel — was rejected for a low-level in-house staff attorney position because he was overqualified for the position, not because he was 58 years old.

Prompted by Mr. Kleber’s comment, I have now read the court papers (well, a lot of them, anyway).*

*Mr. Kleber’s case is currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, but it is still in the very early stages. For you procedural nerds, I’ve included a summary at the end of this post. Non-nerds can skip it.

Now that I know more about Mr. Kleber’s lawsuit, I haven’t changed my mind. In other words, I still think he was rejected for being overqualified.

Can’t “overqualified” be a code word for “too old”? Yes, but not necessarily. Read on!

"50? All those candles are gonna burn down the house!"

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act recently celebrated its 50th birthday (it doesn't look a day over 49). This calls for an age discrimination quiz!

Question 1: What age group is protected from age discrimination under the ADEA?

A. All age groups. Discrimination based on age is never ok, whether you are young or old.

B. Ages 40 to 70.

C. Ages 40 and up, with no upper limit.

D. Ages 40 and up, unless you are an athlete or a model, in which case it's ages 30 and up.

ANSWER: C. Some states have laws that prohibit all age discrimination -- including discrimination against the young -- but the ADEA doesn't protect people under age 40.

Question 2: Which of the following could be considered "code words" for age discrimination?

A. "We're looking for someone with a high energy level."

B. "We're looking for digital natives."

C. "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

D. "Have you given any thought to when you want to retire?"

E. C and D.

F. All of the above.

Walter Olson of the great Overlawyered.com sent a challenge over Twitter earlier this week:

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 2.45.02 PM

For those of you who don't know Mr. Olson, he's a libertarian.  :-)

I have to admit, I needed time to process this! I complain about these laws all the time, but would I really want to get rid of all protections for employees who want to organize, be paid a fair wage, avoid being thrown out on the street ...

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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