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Are Age Bias Suits Really Down?
Posted By Lisa McElroy On September 6, 2013 @ 5:37 pm In Legal Grounds | Comments Disabled
The New York Times reported last week  that the Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services  has changed the legal landscape for age discrimination cases. The problem? Even though many older workers  who lose their jobs think that age discrimination played a role in their terminations, the burden of proof required is now so high that lawyers just don’t see the cases as winners.
Given that the Times didn’t back up its assertion that “most lawyers won’t even take age discrimination cases” with any numbers, I was just a bit skeptical. After all, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s statistics  show that the number of these lawsuits has hit a plateau, even as we’re still seeing the after effects of layoffs brought on by a bad economy. What’s more, there are a lot more older Americans working than there used to be, and they’re sticking it out longer in the workplace .
I talked by telephone with Daniel Schwartz , an attorney at Shipman and Goodwin in Hartford, Conn., who represents employers in these types of cases. I asked him, “Do you really think that lawyers won’t take these plaintiffs’ cases anymore?”
“Not at all,” he said. “I have friends who are plaintiffs’ lawyers and are taking these cases, and I am still representing clients in defending against them.”
According to Schwartz, 95 percent of cases settle. “The new burden of proof may reduce the settlement value of a case,” he says, “but employees can still achieve a positive settlement.”
Right. So even though it might be harder to win an age discrimination  case at trial these days, a financial settlement is well within the realm of possibility. Given that reality, what employment lawyer who thinks a potential client has a viable claim would turn it down?
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Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/06/are-age-bias-suits-really-down/
URLs in this post:
 reported last week: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/booming/for-laid-off-older-workers-age-bias-is-pervasive.html
 Gross v. FBL Financial Services: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/08pdf/08-441.pdf
 older workers: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/22/did-stronger-age-bias-laws-aid-older-workers/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/schwartz.jpg
 statistics: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/adea.cfm
 sticking it out longer in the workplace: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat03.pdf
 Daniel Schwartz: http://www.shipmangoodwin.com/dschwartz
 age discrimination: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/05/11/boomers-work-related-age-bias-resources-for-50-jobless-recareering/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 Jobless Rate Inches Up for Older Workers in August: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/06/jobless-rate-inches-up-for-older-workers/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL
 Looking for Work? Check Out ‘Best Employers’ Winners: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/23/looking-for-work-check-out-best-employers-winners/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS
 Want a Head Start on Getting New Health Insurance?: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/24/federal-and-state-websites-help-consumers-find-health-insurance-planswebsite-helps-consumers-find-health-insurance/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-ADV
 Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM
 AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP
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