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EEOC to hold public meeting on guidance for Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Posted On: Nov. 10, 2011 12:00 AM CST

WASHINGTON—The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will hold a public meeting Nov. 16, when it will vote on a proposed rule that provides guidance as to what constitutes a “reasonable factor other than age” in defending a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

The agency also will hold a panel discussion, “Overcoming Barriers to the Employment of Veterans with Disabilities,” at the meeting.

According to background information issued by the EEOC last year, the proposed rule emphasizes the need “for an individualized, case-by-case approach to determining whether an employment practice is based on reasonable factors other than age.”

The EEOC said the proposal is based on its analysis of the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Azel P. Smith et al. vs. City of Jackson, Miss., et al., which allowed “disparate impact” claims that do not require showing discriminatory intent under the ADEA, and the court’s 2008 decision in Meacham vs. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, in which the court held that employers must show that there was a reason other than age discrimination in cases where lay-offs appear to target older workers.

The EEOC also will examine “unlawful discrimination in employment and other challenges that veterans with disabilities may face” at the hearing, the agency said in a statement.

When available, further information on the meeting will be posted on the EEOC website.