We wrote a couple of times recently about the issue of age discrimination when it comes to law firm retirement policies. We spotlighted the law firm of Kelley Drye which settled an age lawsuit by entering into a consent decree in which it agreed to pay a partner who had been working at the firm for more than 40 years approximately $500,000 in back pay, and also agreed to undergo age discrimination training and to implement monitoring procedures overseen by the EEOC.
It has just been reported by the Canadian Financial Post that the British Columbia Court of Appeal has rejected an equity partner’s challenge to his law firm’s mandatory retirement at 65 policy. The attorney claimed that the policy discriminates on the basis of age, and prevailed in two lower courts.
However, the Court of Appeal unanimously held that “The inevitable conclusion of this analysis is that there is no employment relationship between the firm and [the equity partner], and his complaint is not within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.”
A firm spokesman stated that “We are satisfied with the decision, which reinforces our understanding of the law in British Columbia surrounding the terms of partnership agreements.”