In the wake of two recent Supreme Court "mixed motive" age discrimination cases, Gross v. FBL Financial and Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, age discrimination has gotten harder to prove. Up until now the methods of proving different kinds of unlawful discrimination — age, disability, race, gender — generally were similar. Now age cases are treated differently, and that has implications for older workers and lawyers who want to help them.
Here's a summary article from Lawyers USA which does a nice job of summarizing the issues.
The problem is complex, and the EEOC will be trying to provide some guidance.
What's happening on the federal level begs the question of whether New Jersey courts will follow the lead of the US Supreme Court on mixed motive age cases. While New Jersey usually follows the federal lead on the interpretation of anti-discrimination statutes, our state courts have well-developed case law on mixed motive issues. I wonder whether the state courts will be quick to follow the Supreme Court's lead, or will leave the state courts as a more receptive forum for plaintiffs in age discrimination cases.