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Mandatory Retirement Policies And California Law

In yesterday's Mentor Blog, Liz Dunshee asked whether mandatory retirement policies are a thing of the past.  This led me to question whether age discrimination of this sort is even legal in California.  Asking about, I learned that California Government Code Section 12942(a) provides:

"Every employer in this state shall permit any employee who indicates in writing a desire in a reasonable time and can demonstrate the ability to do so, to continue the employee’s employment beyond any retirement date contained in any private pension or retirement plan.

This employment shall continue so long as the employee demonstrates the ability to perform the functions of the job adequately and the employer is satisfied with the quality of the work performed."

The statute, however, does not prohibit "compulsory retirement of any employee who has attained 65 years of age and who for the two-year period immediately before retirement was employed in a bona fide executive or a high policymaking position, if that employee is entitled to an immediate nonforfeitable annual retirement benefit from a pension, profit-sharing, savings, or deferred compensation plan, or any combination of those plans, of the employer for the employee, which equals in the aggregate at least twenty-seven thousand dollars ($27,000)." 

As a reminder, this blog is not intended as legal advice with respect to specific factual situations.  If you have questions about your own situation, please consult with an attorney with labor and employment law experience.

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