Thursday, March 31, 2005

Supreme Court Expands ADEA Rights

In an opinion authored by Justice Stevens, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) authorizes recovery in disparate-impact cases comparable to that in cases involving race, color, religion, sex, or national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. However, unlike Title VII, the ADEA significantly narrows its coverage by permitting any “otherwise prohibited” action “where the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age”. In the case before the court, the plaintiffs did little more than point out that the pay plan at issue was relatively less generous to older workers than to younger ones. Thus, they did not identify any specific test, requirement, or practice within the pay plan that had an adverse impact on older workers.

Source: Smith v. City of Jackson Supreme Court (March 30, 2005)

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