Today, the EEOC has published its final rule clarifying a portion of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). You can download the rule here and a FAQ from the EEOC here. The rule comes as a partial response to a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision that analyzed the issue.
The rule has some significance for employers who have policies or take action that may have a disparate impact on older workers. In plain english, disparate impact essentially means an age-neutral rule that affects older workers more than younger workers; disparate treatment means a rule or action that treats older workers differently.
The easiest example to think of is suppose a police department has a physical fitness test so that officers can pursue and apprehend suspects; that practice may have a disparate impact on older workers .
So what did the final rule clarify? According to the EEOC: