High court to mull age bias in layoffs
The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari yesterday in a case brought by 117 former employees against the Florida Power Corp., alleging that they were fired because of their age. The issue before the Supreme Court is whether suits can be brought under the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act for employer actions that disproportionately affect older workers even if no intentional bias is apparent. While disparate impact cases have been widely successful in cases involving racial discrimination, five of the eight federal circuit courts that have ruled on such cases brought under the ADEA have held that that act does not protect against disparate impact.
See GLEN ELSASSER and JUDY PERES, Chicago Tribune, December 3, 2001