MA Officials Pay $1.2M in Age Discrimination Case

May 23, 2006 ( - The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has paid out $1.26 million to 15 plaintiffs as part of a long-running battle over allegations that the state illegally denied older workers the right to apply for accidental disability retirements.

An announcement from the USEqual Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said that as a result of its lawsuit against state officials, the state, local and municipal employees will also get an additional $165,176 every year – raising the state’s ultimate payout to several million dollars.

The EEOC said Tuesday’s announcement ends years of litigation in which the EEOC sued Massachusetts repeatedly for its retirement system’s violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The EEOC said the Commonwealth amended its retirement statute to drop out provisions found to be discriminatory in 2000.

The original settlement, which extended back to October 16, 1992, provided accidental disability retirement pensions to all those otherwise eligible who were either denied, or discouraged from applying for these pensions solely because their ages exceeded Massachusetts’s maximum age limitations.