A bipartisan group of senators has introduced S-443, which would make it easier for current employees and job applicants to make a case of age discrimination, affecting both federal agencies and the private sector.
The bill would override a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that age discrimination claims must prove that discrimination was the sole or overriding factor in an adverse employment decision, rather than just a motivating factor.
The ruling “put a higher burden on older workers alleging age discrimination than on those alleging discrimination based on race, sex, national origin or religion. The legislation would level the playing field for older workers by restoring the pre-2009 legal standards for age discrimination claims, ensuring that everyone has equal access to the courts and reinforcing the essential principle that no amount of age discrimination is acceptable in the workplace,” said a statement by the sponsors.
The measure also would reaffirm that workers may use any type of admissible evidence to prove their claims.