ADEA - Bill To Make Age Discrimination Easier to Prove

October 7, 2009 - Bills introduced in both the House of Representative and Senate aim to make age discrimination easier to prove. This proposed amendment to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is contained in S.1756 and H.R.3721 and seeks to overturn the Supreme Court decision Gross v. FNL Financial Services, Inc., 129 S.Ct. 2343 (6/22/09) where the court ruled that a Plaintiff must prove that age was the “determining factor” in the employment decision.

Under this amendment titled The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, the Plaintiff would only have to prove that age was only a motivating factor in the employment decision. Using this standard, an age discrimination plaintiff may still win if the court or jury determines that his/her age was one of the factors that resulted in the challenged employment decision even if other factors exist.

If passed and signed into law, this legislation will make it easier for victims of employment discrimination to win in court because they would only have to prove that their age was a factor in the decision as opposed to the “determining factor” as defined by the Supreme Court.