Sidley accused of age discrimination

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing Sidley Austin Brown & Wood for discriminating against 31 of its partners when it expelled them from its partnership in 1999. Under the US Age Discrimination and Employment Act, employers cannot discriminate against employees aged 40 or above; all the demoted partners were over 40. John Hendrickson, the EEOC regional attorney in Chicago leading the case, said the government was seeking reinstatement for the expelled partners, financial relief, and an injunction that would force Sidley to scrap its mandatory retirement age. A Sidley spokesman said: “The firm has always been committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination. We will vigorously defend against the EEOC action.”