Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas today leads the conservative wing of the Supreme Court in an unusual decision that rules that plaintiffs in age discrimination suits don’t get the same benefit of the doubt that every other discrimination plaintiff gets.
In concluding that a plaintiff claiming age discrimination must show not only that age was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision, but the determinative motivating factor, the court is essentially requiring the employee to produce direct evidence that the employer’s action was based only on age. In the past, because employers are careful to hide direct evidence of discriminatory motives, after a plaintiff had provided evidence of age discrimination the burden shifted to the employer to prove its legitimate reason for firing or demoting the older employee.
As Digby pointed out, less harshly than Thomas and his ilk deserve:
It's a good thing we don't have an activist Supreme Court. Imagine what might happen if they went around disturbing precedents willy nilly and legislating from the bench.
It's also lucky for us that the