NU Online News Service, Aug. 24, 12:15 p.m. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has withdrawn a requirement forbidding age discrimination in retiree health benefits.
Under the Clinton administration, the EEOC had suggested it might sue employers to stop them from offering one package of health benefits for employees who are old enough to enroll in Medicare and a second package for employees who are too young for Medicare.
EEOC officials said a federal court decision showed that offering a two-track retiree health benefits program violated the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
But now the EEOC says it will rescind a section of its employee manual that describes the practice of offering a two-track program as age discrimination.
The rescission is effective immediately, the EEOC says.
“The Commission wishes to study further the relationship between certain employer practices regarding the provision of retiree health benefits and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,” EEOC Chairwoman Cari Dominguez writes in a document announcing and explaining the rescission.
The EEOC has posted the document, Directive Number 915.003, on its Web site, at http://www.eeoc.gov/docs/benefits-rescind.html