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U.S. Supreme Court makes it harder to prove Age Discrimination under ADEA

U.S. Supreme Court makes it harder to prove Age Discrimination under ADEA
09 Sep 2009 Uncategorized

U.S. Supreme Court makes it harder to prove Age Discrimination under ADEA

On June 18, 2009, the United States Supreme Court, in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., held that a plaintiff bringing a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that age was the “but for” cause of the employer’s adverse employment decision; and, more significantly, an employer need not demonstrate it would have made the same decision regardless of the employee’s age, even if the employee produces some evidence that age may have been a contributing factor in the decision. As such, the burden-shifting standard utilized in mixed motive Title VII cases does not apply to age discrimination claims under the ADEA. Essentially, the Supreme Court just made it harder for a Plaintiff to prove a case under the ADEA than under Title VII.

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