Many feel that ageism and age discrimination in the workplace has been getting harder to prove and has been so for many years. Some that have been following the trends will remember the issue was surfacing back in 2009 and 2005 and the issue has periodically made headlines since then. The following collection of articles includes some recent action by the United States Supreme Court in addition to other cases that can give a more detailed overview of age discrimination related issues, although the ensuing list is by no means comprehensive and further research is encouraged.
The nation’s high court this morning agreed to decide whether Mount Lemmon Fire District is exempt from age-discrimination laws.
Age discrimination is widespread, well documented and, sadly, deeply entrenched in the American workplace. It’s also illegal, thanks to the 50-year-old Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which is aimed at protecting people 40 and older from discrimination in hiring, promotion and retention at firms with 20 or more employees.
The 5-4 decision, controlled by the high court’s conservatives, requires workers alleging age discrimination to prove from the start that bias was the crucial factor in a demotion, not just one of possibly many factors leading to it. That standard for the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is tougher than the requirement for workers suing for race or sex bias under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
In discrimination lawsuits involving what lawyers call “mixed motive” cases, a worker previously might have had a valid claim of discrimination if age or another prohibited factor, such as race, was one of the motivations behind a firing or demotion.
The older police officers argued that when the city’s pay plan gave proportionately higher raises to officers with less than five years of service, the older workers, most of whom had more than five years of service, were adversely affected because of their age. The city argued that the plan based salary increases on rank and seniority and was motivated by the city’s desire to bring the starting salaries of police officers to a level comparable with and competitive in the market.
When news of Arney’s departure first hit on Feb. 14, he wasn’t available for comment. A Geffen representative said at the time that the leadership change was prompted by the theater’s desire to ensure it was “well positioned for the future.”
Former Los Angeles Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Jeff Gottlieb has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper.