What Does It Take to Prove Age Discrimination?

Does a federal employee claiming age discrimination have to show that age was the key reason the employer made an adverse employment decision, or that age was just one of several factors that prompted the employer’s action?

The high court heard oral arguments Jan. 15 in Babb v. Wilkie, a case that asks what standard of proof applies to a federal government worker’s Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) claim.

Under the ADEA, employers may not discriminate against workers ages 40 and older based on their age. The law applies to private employers with at least 20 employees, as well as to state and local governments. It also applies to federal government employees, but the statutory language for such workers is a little different.

In this case,…

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