Kelley Drye & Warren has just settled its age discrimination case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Seems they were discriminating against aged partner attorneys.
As part of the settlement, Kelley Drye has agreed to drop an internal policy that allegedly required partners who reached age 70 to release any ownership in the firm and take a pay cut, Reuters reports.All you aging lawyers can sleep a little more soundly tonight. You might just be able to squeeze a few more years of money out of the firms that took your youthful optimism away.
But that's not all.
All Kelley Drye Partners must also attend a delightfully humiliating two-hour training session on age discrimination. Members of its executive committee have to complete a total of three. In addition, the law firm has to give the EEOC all records of any age discrimination complaints it receives.
Kelley Drye's EEOC troubles started back in 2010 when a partner, Eugene T. D'Ablemont, filed a charge with the commission regarding the firm's alleged discriminatory mandatory retirement policy.
For his troubles, D'Ablemont will be receiving $574,000 in back pay and a percentage of fees from his services as part of the settlement.
Mandatory retirement can be viewed as a good cost-cutting measure by many law firms. That's because partners in their twilight can really start to rake it in. This is good for them, but can be bad for a firm's bottom line.
The American Bar Association frowns upon mandatory retirement policies and even passed a resolution last year suggesting firms get rid of them.
With Kelly Drye's EEOC case settled and it alleged age discrimination policy gone, this might be a signal that the end is nigh for mandatory retirement at big law firms.
- Kelley Drye Settles EEOC Suit Over Attorney Age Bias Claim (Bloomberg)
- Age Discrimination Laws (FindLaw)
- Age Discrimination Laws: How Old is Old Enough? (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)