The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Meacham, et al. v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (No. 06-1505, 2008) demands that employers take special care to ensure that their layoff decisions are based on a reasonable factor other than age. The decision could have a "profound impact" on employers defending disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), noted Richard L. Sloane, aattorney with Littler Mendelson in Washington, DC . "Of course, only time will tell precisely how significant this impact will be. However, it's clear that Meacham raises the bar on employers."
The Facts Of The Case
To effect an involuntary reduction-in-force (RIF) after a voluntary buy-out offer fell short, the company instructed its managers to evaluate employees on performance, flexibility, and critical skills. Performance scores were based on employees' two most recent appraisals; flexibility and ...(register to read more)