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H.R. 3200 (101st): Older Workers Benefit Protection Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

8/3/1990--Reported to House amended. Older Workers Benefit Protection Act - Title I: Employee Benefits - Amends the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) to specify that it prohibits discrimination against older workers in all employee benefits except when age-based reductions in employee benefit plans are justified by significant cost considerations. Declares that, as used in ADEA, the phrase "compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" encompasses all employee benefits, including those provided under a bona fide employee benefit plan. Requires that the actual amount of payment made or cost incurred on behalf of an older worker be no less than that made or incurred on behalf of a younger worker, for each benefit or benefit package, in order for an employee benefit plan not to violate ADEA. Allows observance of bona fide voluntary early retirement incentive plans that further the purposes of ADEA. Places on the employer, employment agency, or labor organization the burden of proving, in any civil enforcement proceeding brought under ADEA, that specified actions are lawful. Requires a seniority system or employee benefit plan to comply with ADEA regardless of the date of adoption of such system or plan. Exempts from overall ADEA prohibitions (which codify the principle of equal benefit or equal cost): (1) certain benefit practices that are permanent features of a defined benefit pension plan; and (2) certain defined and identified forms of benefit coordination following contingent events unrelated to age. Applies this title to all actions or proceedings under ADEA that were brought after June 23, 1989, or that were pending on such date (which is the date on which the Supreme Court issued the decision in Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio v. Betts). Provides that, in the case of certain collective bargaining agreements, this Act shall not apply until the termination of the agreement or June 1, 1992, whichever is first. Title II: Waivers - Amends the ADEA to prohibit an individual from waiving any right under the Act, except in settlement of a bona fide claim alleging a certain kind of prohibited age discrimination. Allows a settlement of a bona fide claim to occur only if the settlement is knowing and voluntary and only if certain criteria are met, including filing notice with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Declares that no settlement of a bona fide claim shall: (1) affect the rights and responsibilities of the EEOC to enforce such Act; or (2) prohibit an individual from filing a charge with, or participating in any manner in an investigation or litigation conducted by, the EEOC under ADEA. Defines "bona fide claim," for such purposes, as: (1) a charge of age discrimination filed with the EEOC; (2) an action alleging age discrimination filed in court by the individual or the individual's representative; or (3) a specific allegation of age discrimination communicated in writing by the individual or the individual's representative directly to the employer, employment agency, or labor organization or their representatives, and without the assistance or instigation of any such entity against which the allegation is made. Limits EEOC authority to issue rules or regulations which would permit waivers, without EEOC or court supervision, of rights or claims which are not waived in accordance with this Act. Provides that, effective upon the enactment of this Act, a specified rule on waivers issued by the EEOC shall have no force and effect. Title III: Miscellaneous - Sets forth conforming amendments.