City denied summary disposition in age discrimination case brought by employee "too young" to enforce pension obligation
The City of Allen Park's standard employment contract for Police Administrators allowed them to collect their pension benefits without penalty, upon "mutual separation" from service, "regardless of age." When Deputy Police Chief Gaydos separated, he was denied his benefits because he was under 52 years old and "too young." He sued, pointing to the express language of the contract, prior payments to the former fire and police chiefs prior to "normal" retirement age, and what he alleged was clear age discimination.
The City sought summary disposition, arguing that Gaydos was not part of the "protected class" who could sue for age discrimination, because he was under 52 years of age. The trial judge denied the City's request and set the matter for trial. The City appealed and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial judge's decision and sent the case back for further development.