Tagged: Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

The Third Circuit Goes Its Own Way on ADEA Disparate Impact Claims

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects from discrimination of employees who are at least 40 years of age. Recently, in Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit departed company with three of its sister Circuits by holding that plaintiffs asserting a claim of “disparate impact” under the ADEA may establish a disparate impact with comparisons between subgroups of employees and need not show that a challenged employment practice has had an adverse impact on employees 40 years of age or older compared to its impact on employees under 40. Thus, the Court permitted to go forward with a disparate impact claim based on a comparison between employees at least 50 years of age with employees under 50. The decision will have a profound impact on employers’ assessments of their potential ADEA liability for disparate impact claims and on the way ADEA disparate impact claims are litigated in the Third Circuit. Background To establish a claim of disparate impact discrimination under the ADEA, a plaintiff must show, through statistical evidence, that the employers implemented a facially age-neutral employment practice that fell more harshly on the protected group. If this showing is made, the employer can defeat the claim by demonstrating that the practice in question is...

The Case for Getting Aggressive with Workplace Bullies

You have heard about bullying on the playground but, did you know it has moved into the workplace? Bullying is now an important employee relations issue for businesses and employers must be aware of the problem and address it. In their recent article published by The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel entitled “The Case For Getting Aggressive With Workplace Bullies,” Kelly Bird and Lindsay J. Jarusiewicz focus on the following concerns: What is workplace bullying? How can workplace bullying impact employers and employees? Are there any laws against workplace bullying? How can employers address the issue?

Supreme Court Requires “But-For” Causation for Title VII Retaliation Claims

In a victory for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, that employees asserting retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) must establish that the adverse employment action at issue would not have occurred “but for” an improper motive on the employer’s part. This “but for” causation standard, as opposed to the more plaintiff-friendly “motivating factor” causation standard used in Title VII discrimination claims, gives employers a better chance at defeating Title VII retaliation claims, particularly at the summary judgment stage.

EEOC Publishes New ADEA Regulations for the “Reasonable Factors Other Than Age” Defense

The Equal Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) today published its final regulations and commentary concerning the “reasonable factors other than age” provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. (“ADEA”), as that provision pertains to claims of disparate impact. A disparate impact claim is one that alleges that the implementation by an employer of a policy or practice, although non-discriminatory on its face, has had an adverse impact on a category of employees protected by the laws against discrimination in employment.

Placement on PIP Without Change to Job Status Not Adverse Employment Action

Joining several of its sister courts, the Third Circuit has held that, unless accompanied by a change in pay, benefits, or employment status, placement on a performance improvement plan (“PIP”) does not amount to an adverse employment action for purposes of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). Noting concerns over “naked claims of discrimination and greater frustration for employers seeking to improve employees’ performance,” the Reynolds v. Department of Army Court reinforces the notion that employers can utilize PIPs as a means to improve employee performance and conduct with decreased apprehension that the employee will initiate legal action based on the presence of the PIP alone.