Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Gray Hair in the Cockpit - Commercial Pilots Can Now Fly to 65


One of the few age limitations* that has been enshrined in legislation bites the dust, as Congress unanimously passes legislation allowing pilots flying for commercial airlines to fly until age 65, rather than the current 60. See Southwest pilots union praises new 65 rule.

Although I am sure this has been in the works for sometime so that some of the kinks have been worked out, I can imagine that it is causing some major rethinking of personal plans as pilots who had been nearing forced retirement now have a decision to make, while many more junior pilots are now looking at more years in the second seat than they had planned.

I probably wouldn't have thought of this as an employment related topic had I not defended a most interesting lawsuit a decade or so ago caused by confusion about who this rule applied to. I knew it was going to be interesting when I read the complaint and it quoted from a comment written on the plaintiff's resume - "What, pray tell, do we do with this? He is approaching his 60th birthday." Sure enough Exhibit A to the complaint was a photocopy of the resume with what was clearly a yellow sticky note attached to it, that contained those words in the HR manager's handwriting.

How did it end up in the plaintiff's hands? A mysterious fax from the company's offices was all that was ever known.

As you might guess, "interesting" does not always mean fun.

* At least on the end I now most personally identify with!

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