Good news for employers! The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision whose positive impact on employers is just being felt. The decision—Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., (129 S. Ct. 2343, 2009)—involved an employee who alleged that his reassignment to a new position constituted a demotion that was improperly motivated by his age. That would have violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
Before the Supreme Court ruled, a plaintiff could succeed in a “mixed motive” discrimination claim if he or she could establish that race, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability was “a motivating factor” for the alleged action, even if it was not the motivating factor and other legitimate considerations also played a role.
Gross drastically changed this standard with respect to age discrimination claims. The High Court held that the ADEA permitted a plaintiff to prevail only if he or she could s...(register to read more)
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