You might think that mandatory retirement long has been relegated to the dustbin of employment history, along with the 12-hour day and barring pregnant women from the office. After all, it's been nearly three decades since the late U.S. Rep. Claude Pepper, D-Florida, led the passage of a 1986 amendment to federal age discrimination law, which generally made it illegal for employers to force a worker to retire because he or she had reached a certain age.
But the law has some loopholes. Many government agencies are exempt, and private employers also can impose mandatory retirement upon some highly-compensated employees with extensive responsibilities, such as chief executives or board members. Employers also set age limits for certain types of jobs, such as flying a jetliner.