Even international law firm Sidley Austin Brown and Wood feels it does not have to comply with age discrimination laws.
The Behren Law Firm an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace.
The case involved an international law firm who allegedly forced 31 former partners out of their ranks of partnership because of their ages. Although the law firm says it did not force the 31 lawyers out of their firm because of their age, they nonetheless settled out of court and the settlement was approved by a federal judge.
The law firm of Sidley, Austin, Brown and Wood allegedly forced out the plaintiffs in this case under a 1999 firm reorganization. The settlement would mean each former employee would receive roughly $860,000 to $1,835,510, depending on their status at the time they were forced out of the firm. It would also stop the law firm from retiring, reducing, expelling, terminating, or reducing the compensation of the partners and changing the status of partnerships based on age. The firm may also not create or continue to have any formal or informal type of policy that mandates partners retire at a certain age, nor may they have a policy in place that the firm may grant permission for a partner to continue to practice after they have reached a certain age.
In this instance, the EEOC brought suit against the law firm under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits age discrimination for those more than 40-years-old.
While it has to be said that the international law firm did have a novel defense, it did not stop the courts from deciding for the plaintiffs. The defense was that partners in a law firm are not considered to be employees under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
If you believe you have been the subject of age discrimination, feel free to contact Scott M. Behren and the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.