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Mandatory retirement of Air Canada pilots at age 60 is bona fide occupational requirement

In Vilven and Kelly v. Air Canada and Air Canada Pilots Association, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal dismissed a complaint by two Air Canada pilots alleging that the airline's mandatory retirement policy constitutes prohibited age-based discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

According to an Air Canada expert, compliance with an International Civil Aviation Organization rule that a pilot over 60 cannot fly on international routes unless another pilot on the flight is under 60 would impose such extra staffing requirements, scheduling problems and costs on Air Canada that it would cause undue hardship. As a result, the Tribunal ruled that requiring Air Canada pilots to retire at age 60 is a bona fide occupational requirement.


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