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Monday, February 20, 2023

NJ Age Discrimination Attorney, Age Discrimination Employees in Private Sector ADEA Cases and But-For Causation

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq., bars discrimination because of an employee’s age, meaning that it prohibits employment age discrimination where age is the cause of the employer’s adverse decision, which is frequently termination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to workers ages 40 and over. Although employees under 40 are not included under the ADEA, New Jersey state law protects workers age 18 and over.

The Supreme Court’s opinion in a 2009 case, does not require private-sector ADEA plaintiffs to demonstrate that age was the sole cause of an employment action.

The US Supreme Court in Gross v. FBL Fin. Servs., Inc., 557 U.S. 167 (2009) reasoned that “but for the Plaintiff’s age standard” is not an “only but for the plaintiff’s age” standard as the sole cause of the employer’s adverse decision. The Court  held that a “but for their age causation standard” does not translate into a requirement that age must be an “only” and “sole” causation standard to prove an illegal adverse employment action brought under that statute.

An age discrimination ADEA plaintiff’s burden of persuasion necessary to establish employer liability is the same in alleged mixed-motives cases as in any other Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C.S. § 621 et seq., disparate-treatment action. A plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (which may be direct or circumstantial), that age was the "but-for" cause of the challenged employer decision.

Under the ADEA, a private-sector employer violates the statute if it discharges or “otherwise discriminates against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age.” 29 U.S.C. § 623(a)(1)

Under Gross, courts must apply a “but-for the Plaintiff’s age” causation standard but it is not a sole-causation standard, to private-sector ADEA claims. In Gross, the court reaffirmed its conclusion in an earlier case that in an ADEA case in the private sector, that a plaintiff must show that age “actually played a role in the employer’s decision-making process and “had a determinative influence on the outcome.” Gross, 557 U.S. at 176 (quoting Hazen Paper, 507 U.S. at 610).

The Supreme Court in Gross concluded, “To establish a disparate-treatment claim under the plain language of the ADEA, a plaintiff must prove that age was the ‘but-for’ cause of the employer’s adverse decision.”

Note: According to government statistics, employment age discrimination claims have increased. According to statistics, discrimination plaintiffs fare better bringing state claims in State Court than federal claims in Federal Court.

I have represented both public and private employees who were pushed out of jobs because of their age, including persons in their 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's, and was successful in recovering financial compensation for their emotional pain and suffering and moneys for lost wages, both for past lost wages and projected future lost wages. If you think you are being pushed out of your job because of your age, you should contact this office immediately for a free consultation.

If You Quit Your Job, You May Lose Right to Prevail in a Lawsuit

In many instances of discrimination, if you quit your job, you may lose right to prevail in a lawsuit unless you first take certain legally required measures to preserve your job while you are still employed. If you are thinking of quitting, or think you will be fired, you should contact this office immediately for a free consultation to discuss your options in the safest way for you.

Let me fight for you. If you think you may have been discriminated against, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation. I accept discrimination cases from all over New Jersey.

What You Can Do

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing persons who were discriminated against at work. I am successful in bringing employee lawsuits against governmental entities and private employers and recovering money for victims of age, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and other discrimination.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law represents workers throughout the entire state, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Newark, Irvington, Orange, East Orange, Trenton, Paterson, Montclair, Elizabeth, North Brunswick, Cherry Hill, Vineland, Union, Plainfield, Hamilton Township, Lakewood, Edison, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Franklin, Lakewood, and every NJ County, including Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Essex, Monmouth, Somerset, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, Morris, Gloucester, Atlantic, Burlington, Camden Counties.


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