American Employment Law More Liberal Than Europe
by Michael Fox
At least in one small area — mandatory retirement. Unlike the ADEA which has no upper limit and bars mandatory retirement, the European Union's top court has held that country laws establishing a retirement age could be "justified to promote social policies like improving employment. Here is the Judgment of the Court from the International Court of Justice.
For more background on the dispute that was brought by Felix Palacios de la Villa after he was forced to retire from Spanish retailer Cortefiel SA when he turned 65, see the International Herald Tribune article, Court ruling upholds mandatory retirement in Europe.
One caveat of the ruling — it is necessary to also provide adequate provisions for retirees.
This ruling must be particularly painful to those remaining partners at Sidley, Austin who have recently agreed to not only give up their mandatory retirement requirement, but also kick in $27.5 million to some former partners. See the EEOC press release here.