European Union – Employment. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling, deciding that, the general principle prohibiting discrimination on grounds of age, as given concrete expression by Council Directive (EC) 2000/78 should be interpreted as precluding, including in disputes between private persons, national legislation, such as that at issue in the proceedings before the referring court, which deprived an employee of entitlement to a severance allowance where the employee had been entitled to claim an old-age pension from the employer under a pension scheme which the employee had joined before reaching the age of 50, regardless of whether the employee chose to remain on the employment market or take his retirement.