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Court Rules Age is not Acceptable Reason to Require Higher Pension Contributions

May 12th, 2014

A Baltimore County policy in place from 1945 to 2007 requiring certain older employees to pay more into a pension fund may have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in damages to the older workers. The County forced older workers to make larger pension contributions regardless of their retirement plans in order to make up for the shorter time their money would accumulate interest. Two Baltimore County corrections officers first complained of the practice to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 15 years ago, and a federal appeals court has substantiated their complaint. This practice is a clear example of age discrimination, according to David Lopez, general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

For more than a decade, the EEOC has been pursuing a legal remedy for the corrections officers, as well as others in the same position. The County alleged its unequal contribution rates were justified because older workers could receive a pension at age 65 even if they had not been with the company very long. Starting in 1973, they also offered employees with 30 years of service the option to retire before age 65. The County stopped using age as a determinant of contribution rates in 2007, but many workers had already been affected by that time.

The court rejected Baltimore County’s claims, finding the pension contribution rates were never adjusted to take into account the early-retirement option. The County’s plan was ruled by the court to be in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act because age is not a permissible factor on which to base pension contribution rates. A trial court is set to determine exactly what amount of damages the county owes to the victims.

The Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Handle Age Discrimination Lawsuits with Dedication and Devotion

Age-related complaints represent a growing number of cases the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles each year. The Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates have helped countless discrimination victims receive remedy or compensation for their discrimination claims. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or fill out our online contact form.

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