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Employee protected under the ADEA

Indiana residents who have faced age discrimination will be happy to learn that the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that a 65-year-old employee, who was forced into retirement, is protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

According to reports, the former employee was forced to retire by the State Department simply because he turned 65. The discriminated employee was a U.S. citizen who worked as a safety inspector for the U.S. embassy in Paris. He was hired as locally employed staff. Because of his status as locally employed, the State Department tried to claim that the age discrimination protection laws did not apply. The State argued that he was exempt because he was hired in France and under a contract that followed the common French practice of mandatory retirement at the age of 65.

Unfortunately, a lower court agreed with the department and dismissed the suit. Thankfully, the appellate court reversed the decision and returned the case to the lower court for further action consistent with the new ruling.

In the end, the exemption did not apply because the employee was a U.S. citizen employed by a federal agency. The wrongfully terminated employee plans to demand lost wages when the case resumes.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers that are age 40 and older from age based discrimination. The Act applies to all workplaces with 20 or more employees, including employment agencies and the state and federal government. A person who has filed a claim under the ADEA may seek reinstatement and promotion, lost wages and benefits, money damages and attorney fees.

Source: The Washington Post, "Court rules against State Dept. in age bias case," August 7, 2012

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