Age Discrimination: Airline Case Study

In accordance with FAA regulations that require commercial airline pilots to retire at age 60, Fast Airlines has a broader policy that requires that all member of a flight crew – pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers – must retire at age 60. Richard worked as a flight engineer for Fast Airlines for more than 25 years, and, when he approached the age of 60, he informed Fast Airlines that he felt that he was as able as ever to perform the duties of a flight engineer, that he had more experience as a flight engineer than any other employee of Fast Airlines, and that he wanted to work as a flight engineer beyond his 60th birthday. Fast Airlines responded to Richard’s request by agreeing that he was one of the airline’s most valuable employees and that his performancee valuations confirmed that he was as able as ever to perform the duties of flight engineer, but that company policy required that he retire. Is this age discrimination? Why, or why not? Could Fast Airline’s policy be modified to avoid the issue of age discrimination? How?

 

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