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LegalSpeak: Gross v. FBL (2009)

Age Discrimination Read more from
Chapter Employment Law

Justice Clarence Thomas (majority): “Our inquiry therefore must focus on the text of the ADEA to decide whether it authorizes a mixed-motives age discrimination claim. It does not…. Thus, the ordinary meaning of the ADEA’s requirement that an employer took adverse action “because of” age is that age was the “reason” that the employer decided to act….even if Price Waterhouse was doctrinally sound, the problems associated with its application have eliminated any perceivable benefit to extending its framework to ADEA claims.”

Justice John Paul Stevens (dissent): “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967(ADEA), 29 U. S. C. §621 et seq., makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any employee ‘because of’ that individual’s age, §623(a). The most natural reading of this statutory text prohibits adverse employment actions motivated in whole or in part by the age of the employee.”

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