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Professor sues University of Maryland for age discrimination

A law professor is suing six law schools for employment discrimination, including the University of Maryland, alleging that the schools passed him up for a tenured position because of his age.

The 62-year-old man applied for teaching positions at the colleges during the 2010 American Association of Law Schools Faculty Recruitment Conference, and he was interviewed by only two, neither of which offered him a job. He believes that the jobs were offered to younger candidates who were not as well qualified, and that he was not hired because of his age.

The man originally sued the schools--Michigan State University College of Law, the University of Missouri Law School, Hastings College of the Law, University of Iowa College of the Law and Georgetown University, in addition to University of Maryland, Baltimore--together in one suit. A federal judge has ruled that he must sue each school individually.

Both federal and state law protects workers and job applicants from being discriminated on the basis of their age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age discrimination specifically against those who are 40 or older. The law forbids age discrimination in hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, training, benefits, and all other conditions of employment.

Additionally, an employment policy or a practice that applies to all ages but has a negative impact on those who are 40 or older is generally illegal under the ADEA.

What will likely be examined in this professor's age discrimination case is whether these universities had hiring policies or practices in place that could have a negative impact on applicants over 40; and whether the policies were based on age rather than another reasonable factor.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Age Bias Claims Against Law Schools to Proceed," Ryan Abbott, Feb. 24, 2012

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