LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
It's tough to prove age bias after getting caught sleeping on the job

I was reading this Third Circuit decision yesterday about an employee who got demoted for sleeping on the job, and all I could think of was Homer Simpson . For not unlike Homer J., a nuclear safety technician, this employee was responsible for monitoring his plant's equipment to prevent malfunctions...

Sleeping at Work Probably Won't Help Plaintiff's Discrimination Claim

Last week, the Third Circuit released its opinion in Vasbinder v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (opinion here) .The plaintiff was a boiler plant operator, responsible for continuously monitoring the plant's equipment to prevent malfunctions that could result in explosions, property damage, interruptions...

Five sure-fire ways to get an age-based harassment complaint

I conducted harassment training this week for a client, and, interestingly, the attendees of all ages seemed to be more curious about age-based harassment than any of the other categories we discussed. Meanwhile, there has been a debate on the internet this week that is of grave concern to us all...

Benefits During the Notice Period

Terminating an employee's employment without cause in Canada comes at a price. The various employment acts and codes set out the requirements for termination notice or pay in lieu of notice (and in Ontario and federal workplaces, severance pay in addition to termination pay). The required termination...

What is main reason to limit access to social media profiles in hiring? EEO information, of course.

In Neiman v. Grange Mutual Casualty Co. (C.D. Ill. 4/26/12) [ enhanced version available to Lexis.com subscribers ], the plaintiff claimed that he was not hired for a position because of his age. The employer argued that it could not have considered the plaintiff's age because it had no idea how...

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Government Workers’ Age Bias Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court this morning agreed to hear the appeal of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that state and local government employees may bring age discrimination claims directly under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution...

Age Discrimination and Severance Claims Sustained Against Quest Diagnostic Corporation

In a case claiming age discrimination and interference with severance benefits, plaintiff Theresa Seibert recently defeated Quest Diagnostics's motion for summary judgment. The New Jersey District Court action alleges that, after more than twenty-five years as a member of the company's...

Can We Please Fix Ohio’s Age Discrimination Law?

It's no secret that Ohio's age discrimination statute is a hot mess . The statute has four different ways a plaintiff can file an age claim against an employer, each with a different statute of limitations and available remedies. What's more, the statute requires that the plaintiff elect...

A Supervisor's Swine Flu Death Wish on an Older Employee Leads to an Age Bias Claim

Yesterday, our guest blogger offered three tips for successful onboarding . Unable to match that, today, I have a less than successful way to encourage attrition -- unless of course you like defending age discrimination claims. A federal court has permitted a plaintiff's claims that his ex...

6 Keys to Having Your Age Discrimination Release Hold up in Court

You're about to have a reduction in force and you're going to offer a severance package to those effected: one week of salary for every year of service in exchange of a full release of all claims. If one or more employees affected by the reduction in force is 40 years of age or older, you'd...

U.S. High Court Hears Arguments in Government Worker’s Age Bias Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Congress never intended, when it extended age bias administrative and judicial procedures and remedies to government employees, to permit state and municipal workers to “frustrate this regime or bypass it entirely using the more general remedies...

U.S. Supreme Court Dismisses Government Worker’s Age Bias Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court this morning in a per curiam , one-sentence decision dismissed the appeal of a government worker’s age discrimination case “as improvidently granted” ( Lisa Madigan, et al. v. Harvey Levin , No. 12-872, U.S. Sup.; See October 2013, Page...

Madigan v. Levin: Supreme Court Decides to Drop Consideration of Whether Section 1983 Age Claim Exists

Federal appellate courts have agreed that an allegation of age discrimination cannot be brought as a Section 1983 claim. In Levin v. Madigan, the Seventh Circuit held that an age claim under Section 1983 is viable. In March 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to address this issue. Eight days after hearing...

Age Discrimination Against Older Job Applicants

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) addressed age discrimination against older job applicants in a 2012 report titled: “ Unemployed Older Workers: Many Experience Challenges Regaining Employment and Face Reduced Retirement Security .” Almost all of the workforce professionals...

Jury Awards $1.5M+ Against IBM in Age Discrimination Case After Faulty Internal Investigation Precluded from Evidence

A federal jury in Connecticut returned a unanimous verdict awarding a total of $1,499,891.70 to a man terminated by IBM when he was 61 years old. The jury also found that IBM “knew or showed reckless disregard for whether its termination of [the employee] constituted age discrimination.”...

Age Bias Not Enough to Prevail Under ADEA

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee on the basis of age. To prevail on an ADEA claim , it is not enough to show that a supervisor was biased against older employees. A successful plaintiff needs to show that she suffered...

Employment Litigation Lottery: IBM Steps Away

Is IBM crazy, or just crazy like a fox? Bloomberg BNA reported this week that IBM has stopped providing the “disclosures” required by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act when it hands out severance packages. As you know, when an employer has a “group termination” —...

Direct Evidence of Age Discrimination and the Sixth Circuit

The Sixth Circuit recently reviewed an appeal from the grant of summary judgment in an action where a principal of a high school alleged his contract was not renewed because of his age. In Scheick v. Tecumseh Public Schools , the court reversed the summary judgment and reviewed the significance of three...

Age Discrimination: New Wrinkles on the Face of an Old Law

The gist of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), while chockablock with numerous and sundry nuanced provisions, remains alive and kicking: “Bosses can’t fire Grandpa for being old.” While the essence survives, application of the Act in the workplace and litigation...

The Pharmacist Who Refused to Give Flu Shots Lost His Age Discrimination Claim

In a world , where an employee cannot prove age discrimination after getting fired for playing golf during his medical leave , comes the story of a pharmacist *** dramatic pause *** who wouldn’t give flu shots. While we wait for Hollywood to greenlight this movie — I’m thinking Gary...

Beware the Digital Immigrant

Fortune Magazine has an interesting article concerning how employers are using a term-- digital native-- in hiring which could be construed as a preference for younger applicants much the way that "new grad" was used in the past. In 2001, Marc Prensky wrote an article entitled Digital Natives...

Can We Stop With the Age-Based Stereotypes?

Is “digital native” the latest code term for “young”? A hot topic for the past few days, after an article on the subject appeared in Fortune , has been whether it’s discriminatory for an employer to specify in recruiting that it’s seeking to hire “digital...

HELP WANTED: Seeking Senior VP of Sales, ideally 45-52 years old. Wait, WHAT?!?

I was going to blame the tardiness of today’s post on technical difficulties. Except, the only thing that was technically difficult about it was trying to muster the energy to blog last night after spending four hours in the sun with my 6-year-old at the Eagles first preseason game. I’m happy...

Fired for a Mouth Full of Coffee? That’s a New One. Or, Maybe, Age Discrimination.

WWE great The Undertaker is 50 years old. He’s an eight-time Heavyweight Champion. But, his greatest feat is never missing one of my posts his streak of 21 consecutive wins at Wrestlemania . But then, at Wrestlemania XXX , the streak ended . Do you think that The Undertaker’s age motivated...

Four Ways to Prevent Systemic Discrimination in Your Workplace, Before an EEOC Charge

A week or so ago, Robin Shea had a great post at the Employment and Labor Insider in which she listed ten of the hottest litigation trends at the EEOC. You’ll find some obvious ones (ADA accommodations, retaliation), and maybe one or two that may not be on your radar (immigrant/migrant/”vulnerable”...