According to the announcement, these settlements resolve the last five of eleven lawsuits against school districts brought by the EEOC in Minnesota challenging early retirement incentive plans in collective bargaining agreements. The provisions of the agreements challenged by the EEOC allow the school districts to pay the employees less in early retirement incentive amounts as they grew older.
Settlements for the 11 suits total $1.5 million in benefits for about 150 retirees. In addition to the payments, the school districts will not maintain such agreements in the future.
“These lawsuits are an important reminder that the prohibition in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to retirement incentive plans as well as other forms of compensation,” said Laurie Vasichek, EEOC Senior Trial Attorney in Minneapolis, in the announcement. “It is wrong for employers to put employees in the impossible position of having to lose their rights to retirement amounts because they continue to work after a certain age.”