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I t’s not a good week to be an older employee in California.

On Monday, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that employers have every right to provide employees older than 40 fewer benefits than younger co-workers.

The ruling in Esberg v. Union Oil Company of California, 02 C.D.O.S. 5609, rejects claims of age discrimination by Dan Esberg, who had sued Unocal for refusing to let him pursue a master’s degree through a company-sponsored educational plan that paid tuition. The 56-year-old Esberg had already been reimbursed $16,000 for a bachelor’s degree at the University of Redlands, but was told he was too old “to invest in” further.

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