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EEOC issues Age Discrimination in Employment Act rule

Posted On: Mar. 29, 2012 12:00 AM CST

EEOC issues Age Discrimination in Employment Act rule

WASHINGTON—The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a final rule Thursday on reasons other than age that still comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 when actions are taken involving older workers.

The final rule, which will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, clarifies that the ADEA prohibits policies and practices that have the effect of harming older individuals more than younger individuals, unless the employer can show the policy or practice is based on a reasonable factor other than age, according to the EEOC.

The rule, for which a prepublication version is available online, clarifies the issue for employees, employers and the courts, and makes the EEOC's regulations consistent with Supreme Court rulings, the EEOC said in its statement.

The EEOC held a public hearing on the rule in November.

“The final rule strikes the appropriate balance between protecting older workers from discriminatory, unreasonable business decisions and preserving an employer's ability to make reasonable business decisions,” the EEOC said in a statement.

In its 2008 decision in Clifford B. Meacham et al. vs. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, the Supreme Court ruled that employers must show that there was a reason other than age discrimination in cases where layoffs appear to target older workers.