Older workers offer significant experience and maturity to the work force,
age discriminationcontinues to be one of the fastest growing types of employment discrimination
claims. In an effort to combat this growing problem, Congress passed the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA makes age discrimination
illegal and provides legal protection for those fired – or experiencing
any type of adverse employment action – because of their age. The
ADEA also protects those people who complain about age discrimination
or participate in another’s age discrimination claim from retaliation.
The ADEA applies to people 40 years or older.
If you believe you have been treated unfairly at work as the result of
your age, speaking to a knowledgeableGeorgia age discrimination lawyer is an important step to determine your rights and evaluate your next steps.
In an effort to reflect recent Supreme Court rulings concerning the ADEA,
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has just approved a draft
ADEA final rule amending the current (ADEA). The Supreme Court decisions concern the “reasonable
factor other than age” (RFOA) defense that provides that employers
may have a defense to ADEA violations if they can show that an employment
decision is based on “reasonable factors other than age.”
Smith v. City of Jackson andMeacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories determined that the RFOA defense should be based on the “facts and
circumstances” of each case and whether an employer made the best
decisions in light of those facts. The amendments seek to adopt a “balancing
approach” to protect workers from discrimination and protect older
workers from facially neutral employment practices that disparately impact
Additionally, the amendments provide various factors that may be considered
to determine whether a particular business decision was reasonable. These
include issues such as the extent and severity of the harm to an older
worker and whether other options existed.
Based on the recent Supreme Court cases, the new rule emphasizes a case-by-case
approach to age discrimination cases.
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your age
or have questions concerning how the new rule may impact you, contact
Atlanta employment lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for a confidential consultation.