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Age Rage

Younger employees are crying age discrimination.

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This story appears in the April 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When most people think of age discrimination in the workplace,they think of older employees getting angry over preferentialtreatment given to twentysomethings. But now, fortysomethingemployees are up in arms over how companies treat workers in their50s and 60s.

This trend-called "reverse discrimination"-is at theheart of the Supreme Court case General Dynamics Land SystemsInc. v. Dennis Cline et al. Citing rising health-care costs,defense contractor General Dynamics, which for years fully fundedthe health costs of its retired employees, renegotiated its policyso only longtime employees over 50 remained eligible for fullmedical benefits after retirement. A group of fortysomethingGeneral Dynamics workers sued, citing discrimination because theywere deemed too young to be entitled to the retirementhealth benefit. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled infavor of General Dynamics' employees.

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