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Age Cases



The following are some of the significant cases in this area. They are offered as a start to understanding the issues, and are not intended as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from DOI's Solicitor's Office or private counsel. These summaries are intended neither as a legal analysis regarding specific matters, nor as a complete review of the topic.

  1. Western Air Lines, Inc. v. Criswell, 472 U.S. 400, 113 S.Ct. 2743 (1985). The Court invalidated an airline company's rule requiring flight engineers to retire at the age of sixty because the age discrimination was not reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the airline company's business.
  1. Hazen Paper Co. v. Biggins, 507 U.S. 604, 113 S.Ct. 1701 (1993). The court stated that the essence of age discrimination is "for an older employee to be fired because the employer believes that productivity and competence decline with old age." Court held that there is no disparate treatment under the ADEA when the factor motivating the employer is some feature other than the employee's age..
  1. O'Connor v. Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp., 517 U.S. 308, 116 S.Ct 1307 (1996). Held that a plaintiff's replacement need not be under 40 years of age in order for the plaintiff to make out a prima facie case of age discrimination under the McDonnell Douglas paradigm.
  1. Oubre v. Entergy Operations, Inc., 118 S.Ct. 838 (1998). Not necessary to tender back consideration to challenge settlement of age discrimination case if there is a failure to comply with Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.