A large private partnership was alleged to have engaged in age discrimination by including in its partnership agreement a mandatory retirement age for partners.
A large private partnership was alleged to have engaged in age discrimination by including in its partnership agreement a mandatory retirement age for partners. Senior employees who were not yet partners alleged that this mandatory retirement clause indirectly made older employees less likely to be promoted to partner. A central issue in the lawsuit was whether partners in the private partnership were “owners” or “employees.” Cornerstone Research worked with a faculty expert in human resources management and industrial relations to assess the terms of the partnership and the characteristics of the partners’ jobs, including how they generally spent their time, how they were compensated, and what type of control each had in the organization. Based upon this analysis, the expert opined that partners held rights and responsibilities within the organization that are associated with ownership and were, in fact, owners of the firm. Summary judgment was granted to the defendants.