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Supreme Court decisions.

In Hoffman-La Roche Inc. v. Sperling, the Supreme Court affirmed a district court decision which held that Federal courts may assist employees involved in alleged age discrimination cases to contact other employees who potentially may be eligible to join die lawsuit. The district court had ordered Hoffman-La Roche Inc., a subsidiary of F. Hoffman-La Roche Co. of Switzerland, to provide the names and addresses of some 200 employees who were potentially eligible to join the class-action suit against the company so that they might be contacted.

The suit arose out of action by the company in 1985 to lay off or downgrade workers as part of their effort to cut 1,200 jobs. Two employees filed an age discrimination suit against the company and were subsequently joined by 400 other workers. The workers then petitioned the court to notify an additional 200 employees who had accepted early retirement of their potential interest in the lawsuit.

In the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court found that when an age discrimination suit is filed, a Federal court may notify other potentially affected workers and may require a company to provide names and addresses of these workers. This decision could affect future lawsuits because age bias suits specifically require formal notification to the court of employees' interests in the suit, unlike other Federal class actions which assume all similarly situated" persons are eligible to participate in the lawsuit unless they formally notify the court that they are relinquishing their interests. *

A note on communications The Monthly Labor Review welcomes communications that supplement, challenge, or expand on research published in its pages. To be considered for publication, communications should be factual and analytical, not polemical in tone. Communications should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief, Monthly Labor Review, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20212. "Developments in Industrial Relations" is prepared by Michael H. Cimini of the Division of Developments in Labor-Management Relations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is largely based on information from secondary sources.
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Title Annotation:Hoffman-La Roche Inc. v. Sperling
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Apr 1, 1990
Words:339
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