The House expects to vote this week on HR-1230, to ease for federal employees among other workers the standard of proof for age discrimination claims as well as for certain other employment discrimination claims.
The bill would establish, as proof of an unlawful employment practice under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, when the complaining party demonstrates that age or participation in investigations, proceedings, or litigation was a motivating factor for any unlawful employment practice, even though other factors also motivated the practice, in so-called “mixed motive” claims.
Under the bill, a complainant would not be required to demonstrate that age or retaliation was the sole cause of the employment decision — overturning a Supreme Court decision that requires a complainant to prove that “but for” discrimination, the employer would not have acted as it did.
The bill would apply the lower standard of proof to other employment discrimination and retaliation claims, including claims under the Civil Rights Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
It further would permit a complaining person to rely on any type or form of admissible evidence, which would need only be sufficient for a reasonable trier of fact to find that an unlawful practice occurred.
The Trump administration has issued a veto threat, saying that the change “would incentivize employees to file frivolous claims to shield themselves from being removed for valid reasons . . . and make it much more difficult for employers to address workplace performance.”