Jenner & Block

"Employees Bringing Disparate-Impact Claims Under the ADEA Continue to Face an Uphill Battle Despite the Supreme Court's Decisions in Smith v. City of Jackson and Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory," ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law

In this article, Jenner & Block Partner Carla J. Rozycki and Of Counsel Emma J. Sullivan review  the differences between disparate-impact claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); analyze disparate-impact ADEA claims after the Supreme Court decisions in Smith v. City of Jackson and Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory; examine the EEOC’s proposed rules regarding the scope of the “reasonable factor other than age” defense; and explain the practical difficulties of successfully prosecuting disparate-impact ADEA claims.  Despite the authors’ view that plaintiffs will likely continue to face an uphill battle when bringing disparate-impact ADEA claims, they conclude that prudent employers should still scrutinize any employment decisions that may cause a disparate impact on the basis of age.  They also recommend that employers provide their supervisors with objective criteria for making employment decisions whenever feasible.