Friday, October 12, 2012

U.S. Citizen Working in French Embassy Still Protected by ADEA – Court Reaffirms Importance of ADEA’s Protections

In Miller v. Clinton, 687 F.3d 1332 (D.C. Cir. 2012), it was undisputed that plaintiff, an employee of the Department of State in the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France, was terminated solely because he turned 65.  Miller was terminated due to a mandatory retirement clause following the prevailing practice in France of requiring retirement at age sixty-five.  The Court found that this practice was prohibited by the ADEA and that section 2(c) of the Basic Authorities Act, 22 U.S.C. § 2669(c), did not exempt plaintiff from the ADEA’s protection.  In so holding, the Court affirmed the importance of the ADEA, opining that “Congress has made clear that it regards [the ADEA’s] protections as extremely important.”  The Court also denounced as “callous” the government’s argument that applying the ADEA’s protections abroad would encourage the hiring of foreign workers against whom Department of State officials would be free to discriminate.

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