Providing trusted legal counsel for credit unions, banks, businesses and individuals in the Tri-state area since 1989.

A Supreme Court decision clarifies age discrimination

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2020 | blog, Workplace Discrimination |

Many New York employees experience age discrimination in the workplace. A recent decision from the United States Supreme Court has made it easier for federal workers to sue if they have received disparate treatment at work on the basis of their age. The case had gained notoriety as the one where Chief Justice John Roberts dropped a reference to the new generational putdown “OK Boomer.”

Still, the decision, which is limited to federal workers, did not give a completely unfettered ability to sue for age discrimination and obtain relief such as back pay and reinstatement. In order to qualify for these remedies, a plaintiff must demonstrate that age was the “key factor” behind the employment decision that gave rise to the lawsuit. Still, plaintiffs who show that they were subjected to a hostile work environment because of their age are entitled to some sort of remedy.

In other words, this decision was a mixed bag for those who believe that they were subjected to age discrimination at work. They may not be able to get their job back or back pay but they can receive damages so long as they are able to show that age was a factor as opposed to the key factor. In some ways, this makes it easier to file suit, while in other ways, the decision raises the bar for a lawsuit.

Those who believe that they have been a victim of age discrimination at work have protections under federal law. They can exercise their legal rights by filing a lawsuit against the employer who they believe treated them differently. Employment law can be a complex topic, and legal advice is a necessity. It is not always easy to file a lawsuit against an employer, but the counsel of an attorney could help clients get the justice they deserve.