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Old 05-02-2005, 08:33 AM   #1  
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Default Age 60 Rule Stays Put

Court Declines to Review Pilot Retirements

Monday May 2, 2005 3:31 PM


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a pilot group's challenge to a federal rule forcing them to retire at age 60.

Justices let stand a lower ruling in favor of the Federal Aviation Administration, which says the retirement rule for commercial pilots is necessary for safety. Officials have argued that pilots lose critical cognitive and motor skills as they age.

The regulation, which was adopted during the 1950s, automatically bars airline pilots from flying after they reach 60, regardless of their health. A group of 12 pilots called that discriminatory and said their competency and health should be considered when deciding their ability to fly.

The pilots' appeal was backed by low-fare carrier Southwest Airlines, which argued in a friend-of-the-court filing that FAA data shows older pilots are ``as safe as, and in some cases safer than, their younger colleagues.''

``The 1950s-era age 60 rule, coupled with the FAA's rigid implementation of it, arbitrarily deprives Southwest Airlines of some of its best pilots at the peak of their careers,'' the airline wrote.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court expanded job protections for workers age 40 and over by allowing them to file age bias claims over hiring and salary policies that disproportionately hurt them even if employers never intended any harm.

But the 5-3 opinion also granted employers additional defenses to ultimately win at trial by citing reasonable explanations for their policies, such as safety. In doing so, justices reasoned that age can affect performance in some occupations. The case is Butler v. FAA, 04-1233.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:02 AM   #2  
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Default For now anyway.....

Good for them to get to the supreme court with that question. The way I read it though is that it will be up to the FAA to make the decision.

As we know there is a huge effort being mounted within congress and to the FAA to change the current rule. I don't think we're seen the end of this one by a long shot.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:43 AM   #3  
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The FAA is already on record as saying it does not want Age 60 moved higher. How much of a hurdle is the FAA in this whole process? I don't know, but hopefully a big one.

These raise the age 60 advocates are largely in their 50s and benefitted their entire careers because of the current rule. Keeping my fingers crossed that they don't win this battle.
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Old 05-03-2005, 11:06 AM   #4  
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Default Idiots

I couldn't agree more!!!!!! There are so many idiots in this industry working for substandard wages and work rules that they think their only way of increasing their retirement nest egg is to change it!!!!!!! The Supreme Court is right!!!! That Kelly(ceo swa) and the rest of them can go stuff it now!!!!!
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:42 PM   #5  
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I for one am LOOKING FORWARD TO RETIREMENT AT AGE 60. I'm planning for it, putting money into the 401K every month. Not to mention my savings. The point is that as much as I love to fly, I want to enjoy my retirement while I have some mobility left. I strongly support the age 60 rule.
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