Ageism is the next Employment Practices Liability frontier
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal, ” ‘Objection!’ Older Lawyers Resist Forced Retirement”, points out the tip of an emerging iceberg. We have all heard those catchy phrases like “60 is the new 50”. Well, some of that thinking is coming to a courtroom near you. The article outlines ageism-related cases brought by partners at law firms who are routinely forced to give up their equity partner status upon achievement of a certain age. The newspaper also outlines that some large law firms have started to drop or amend their retirement policies thereby putting forced retirements into a case by case basis.
Lawyers, of course, often start legal trends. This one could really catch on fire. Lots of entities have mandatory retirement ages for officers, directors, partners and employees. Not just law firms, but churches, government entities, and other large employers. All of them susceptible to mass torts and class actions. It seems likely that age discrimination legal battles will increase. Underwriters of Employment Practices Liability Insurance need beware.