It is a good day. We’ve been watching this closely and apparently so has the Huffington Post:
The Supreme Court made it easier Thursday for employees to prove they have suffered discrimination because of their age.
In a 7-1 ruling, the court said that when older workers are disproportionately affected by an employment decision, the employer bears the burden of explaining whether there was a reasonable explanation other than age for the company’s action.
The lawsuit involved 26 former employees of Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in upstate New York who were all over 40 at the time they were laid off in 1996. In fact, 30 of the 31 workers who were laid off that year were over 40 years old.
But the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects them, and the Supreme Court justices agreed. The New York Times reports:
The issue in the case, while technical, is important for the litigation of age discrimination cases in which an employer’s action or policy that appears neutral on its face has a disparate impact on older workers. David Certner, the chief legislative counsel for AARP, praised the decision and said it would prove ‘vital to the creation and maintenance of a workplace that is fair and free of age bias.’
Indeed. Read the Times article for more details, and let’s start celebrating.