Compulsory Retirement, the Constitution and the Murgia Case

28 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2007


This Article explores the constitutionality of compulsory retirement laws. There has been much debate about the value of these statutes to society. On one hand, an arbitrary age requiring retirement may begin dependency on society earlier than if no age was set. On the other hand, mandatory retirement statutes assure increased employment and promotion opportunities for younger workers. The Supreme Court has only occasionally concerned itself with classifications by age, and Massachusetts Board of Retirement v. Murgia appears to be the first case which deals with the constitutionality of a maximum age for purposes of retirement. This Article explores the constitutional issues implicated by mandatory retirement schemes, examines some lower court decisions, and analyzes the recent Murgia opinion.

Keywords: retirement laws, mandatory retirement statutes, Massachusetts Board of Retirement v. Murgia

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Abramson, Leslie W., Compulsory Retirement, the Constitution and the Murgia Case. Missouri Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 25, 1977, Available at SSRN:

Leslie W. Abramson (Contact Author)

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States


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