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Total Articles: 16

Eighth Circuit Methodically Rejects Plaintiff’s Allegations of Pretext in Age Discrimination Case

On March 1, 2017, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important decision affirming summary judgment in an age discrimination claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Although the case, Nash v. Optomec, Inc., did not create new law, the appellate court reinforced many important principles that apply not only to age discrimination cases but also other types of discrimination cases. The prevailing party in the case was represented by Andy Tanick and David McKinney of Ogletree Deakins’ Minneapolis office.

Sixth Circuit decision reminds employers of simple mechanisms for avoiding legal risk.

Long-standing and consistently applied policy, coupled with clear and objective documentation of the employer’s financial status form the basis of a decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the dismissal of an employee’s age discrimination claim. Green v. Twp. Of Addison, 6th Cir., No. 14-1607, unpublished (May 27, 2015).

Ninth Circuit Revives Police Officers’ Age Bias Class Action Over Scrapped Exam

Stockwell v. City & County of San Francisco, No. 12-15070 (April 24, 2014): In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals diluted the Supreme Court of the United States’ holding in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011) that the issue of commonality involves a “rigorous analysis” that frequently “will entail some overlap with the merits of the plaintiff’s underlying claim.”

End of the Road for Gross v. FBL Financial Services

Actually that's a misleading headline, what it should say is the end of the line for Jack Gross, the ill fated plaintiff whose lawsuit became the vehicle for the Supreme Court's 2009 decision, which held that the ADEA, unlike Title VII, never permits a mixed motive analysis instead requiring a "but for" test.

New Rule Makes “Reasonable Factors Other Than Age” Defense More Difficult for Employers

On March 29, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a final rule making it more difficult for employers to establish a “reasonable factor other than age” defense for disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Inconsistent Treatment of Older Worker May Lead to Legal Liability

On September 26, 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned summary judgment allowing a 59 year old employee’s claim of age discrimination to go to a jury, based largely on evidence that younger employees – even those over 40 years old – had been disciplined differently than she was.

Court "Deletes" Worker's Age Bias Claim

A federal appellate court recently ruled that an employee whose job functions were replaced by a computer program had not been the victim of age discrimination. According to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, an employee who acted as an intermediary in the product design process was not replaced by the younger employee who oversaw the new streamlined system. Gortemoller v. International Furniture Marketing, Inc., No. 10-15689, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (July 20, 2011).

"More Energetic Person" Comment May Prove Costly.

A federal appellate court recently held that a 58-year-old executive who was fired for allegedly failing to meet company expectations may sue his former employer for age discrimination. According to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, a reasonable jury could find that the company discriminated against him in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Termination for Obsolete Skill Set Does Not Constitute Age Discrimination.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from treating employees who are 40 or older adversely on the basis of their age. Recently, however, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employee’s “obsolete skill set” which caused him to be of “declining value” to the company was sufficient basis to support an that individual’s termination during a reduction in force (RIF), and found that the termination did not constitute age discrimination.

Supreme Court Issues Employer-Friendly ADEA Ruling.

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employee alleging a disparate treatment claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) must prove that age was the “but for” cause of the challenged adverse employment action. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, ruled that even where the employee has produced evidence that age was one motivating factor in that decision the burden of persuasion does not shift to the employer to show that it would have taken the action without regard to age.

Supreme Court Hands Employers Victory In Age Discrimination Case.

On June 18, 2009, the Supreme Court held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not authorize mixed-motive claims of age discrimination. The burden of proof is at all times with the plaintiff to establish that age was a "but for" cause of the adverse employment action.

Justices Place Burden Of Proof On Employers.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that if an employer wants to defend an age discrimination claim by asserting that the decision was based on "reasonable factors other than age," the employer has the obligation to prove this to the judge or jury hearing the case. The ruling did not come as a major surprise to most employment lawyers, but is considered to be a victory for workers.

Employer May Use Subjective Criteria to Defeat Claim of Pretext in ADEA Case.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits an employer from failing to hire or promote an individual who is at least 40 years old because of that individual’s age. Once the individual establishes a prima facie case of discrimination – by showing that she was in the protected age group; that she was otherwise qualified for the position; and that a younger person was hired to fill the position – a legal presumption arises that the employer unlawfully discriminated against that individual. The burden then shifts to the employer to provide a non-discriminatory reason for the company’s failure to hire. The employee can demonstrate that the proffered reason was a “pretext” for discrimination by presenting evidence indicating that age was a determinative factor in the adverse employment decision.

Supreme Court Places Greater Burden on Employers Defending Age Claims.

The Supreme Court held that an employer sued under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) has the burden of establishing the reasonableness of its explanation for a suspect employment practice. This ruling carries significant adverse consequences for employers, exposing them to greater risk of liability under the ADEA when decisions are made to reorganize or reduce their workforces.

The "Old Man" Can’t Make It Up The Stairs, But Makes It Into Court.

Finding that a supervisor's comments about an employee's age were admissible circumstantial evidence, and that his employer's reduction in force plan was not a "plan" at all, an appeals court has reinstated the claim of a 57 year old employee, who had been let go in a RIF that affected over 90 employees. Blair v. Henry Filters, Inc.

Nashville Employee's Age Bias Claim Fails (pdf).

Court finds workers presented only scant evidence of bias.