Law Practice Management

Kelley Drye and EEOC May Be Near Settlement of Partner Age-Discrimination Case

A New York law firm may be close to a settlement with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in an age-discrimination case focused on an 81-year-old partner.

A settlement conference is scheduled Friday in federal court in Manhattan, although terms of any potential pact aren’t known, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

At issue in the case is whether Kelley Drye & Warren discriminated against older partners including Eugene D’Ablemont by imposing a mandatory retirement policy that stripped them of their equity partnership positions at age 70. The firm eliminated mandatory retirement in 2010 and he is now listed as a partner on the firm’s attorney roster, the article notes.

D’Ablemont argued that he was paid less for the same work under the mandatory retirement policy than similarly situated younger lawyers at the firm.

All parties declined the newspaper’s requests for comment.

Additional and related coverage:

ABA Journal (2005): “Who Is a Partner?” (2007): “Sidley to Pay $27.5 M in EEOC Partner Case” (2010): “EEOC Sues Kelley Drye, Says Pay Policy for Older Lawyers Discriminates & Seeks Sweeping Relief” (2011): “Partner, 66, Balks at BigLaw Retirement, May Be an Employee Under Civil Rights Statute”

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