AGO 87-3.

Case Date:June 18, 1987
Court:Colorado
 
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Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1987. AGO 87-3. June 18, 1987Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 87-3 AG Alpha No. LO AD AGAPZ Timothy Schultz Executive Director Department of Local Affairs 1313 Sherman Street, Rm. 518 Denver, CO 80203 RE: Retirement Age for Health Department EmployeesDear Mr. Schultz: This opinion letter is in response to a letter from your predecessor, Mr. E. Robert Turner, dated April 16, 1987, in which he inquired whether federal or state regulations specify or suggest a retirement age for county or district Health Department employees. Additionally, Mr. Turner inquired whether a county or district Health Department Board of Health may establish and enforce an age retirement policy. QUESTIONS PRESENTED AND CONCLUSIONS The request for an attorney general's opinion presented the following questions: Whether state or federal laws specify or suggest a retirement age for county or district Health Department employees? Neither federal nor Colorado law specifies a retirement age for such employees. Although Colorado law suggests a retirement age of 70, superceding federal law undermines such suggestion. Whether the Board of a county or district Department of Health may establish and enforce an age retirement policy? The Board of a county or district Department of Health may establish an age retirement policy if age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the Department of Health or if the retirement policy is based upon reasonable factors other than age. ANALYSIS The Federal Age Discrimination and Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. sec. 621 (1967 & 1987 Supp.) (hereinafter "the ADEA"), and the Colorado employment practices statutes, 24-34-405 to 406, C.R.S. (1982 & 1986 Supp.), each prohibit discrimination in employment solely on the basis of age.(fn1) Both the ADEA and the Colorado employment procedures statutes apply to political subdivisions, EEOC v. Wyoming, 460 U.S. 226 (1983), section 24-34-401(3), C.R.S. (1982) such as county and district Departments of Health, seeJohnson v. Jefferson County Board of Health, 662 P.2d 463 (Colo. 1983). Neither federal nor state law specifies a retirement age for health care employees but prior to January 1, 1987, both federal and state law...

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