ACME Inc. gave generous vacation benefits to its employees. New employees received three weeks of paid leave, and employees with over 25 years seniority received six weeks of paid leave. With the economic downturn, ACME decided to give all employees only three weeks paid leave a year, to boost worker productivity. The employees with over 25 years seniority (all over 40 years old) sued ACME under a disparate impact claim, claiming that the policy deprived them of a benefit, while it did not deprive younger workers of that same benefit.
Discuss ACME’s most likely defense.