Sue the whipersnappers
Old folks have rights
Supreme Court eases way for age discrimination suits
But case dismissal shows proving harm may still be difficult
From Bill Mears
Wednesday, March 30, 2005 Posted: 5:08 PM EST (2208 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a victory for older workers, the Supreme Court concluded Wednesday that people over 40 can sue for alleged age discrimination under a less burdensome legal standard of proof.
The justices ruled 5-3 that older workers can sue in federal court over claims of "disparate impact" -- the loss of wages or benefits enjoyed by younger employees. Previously, older workers had to prove their company had "discriminatory intent," a higher legal standard.
Wednesday's ruling means that companies and employers can be held liable for age discrimination even if their policies were not meant to be discriminatory.
The ruling made clear it might still be difficult to win cases of age discrimination, even under the relaxed standard that will apply to bringing such a suit.
The court agreed that 30 police and public safety officers in Jackson, Mississippi, had the right to bring a case alleging disproportionate harm because younger officers were given proportionately higher wages.
Yet the justices dismissed the lawsuit, saying the older workers failed to prove "harmful" discrimination.
"It is clear from the record that the city's plan was based on reasonable factors other than age," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion. "We hold that the city's decision to grant a larger raise to lower echelon employees for the purpose of bringing salaries in line with that of surrounding police forces was a decision based on a 'reasonable factor other than age,' that responded to the city's legitimate goal of retaining police officers."
Stevens turns 85 next month and is the court's oldest member.
Briefs filed with the court show that about 75 million people -- almost half of the U.S. work force --
Gilly--WOW, looks like Bush's plan to pimp out the ENTIRE judicial branch just ain't working.
This is a MAJOR legal victory--I still bitterly remember the dotcom days, and how so many older working moms got turned away by buttheads who rode scooters to work....
God, I hate those people. Not hated, hate. Still.
posted by Steve @ 6:38:00 PM