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More on Where Age Discrimination Is Going

Posted by Frank Steinberg | Jul 29, 2009 | 0 Comments

In our most recent post we asked where the courts will be going in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Gross v. FBL Financial.  

Here's an interesting post from the Employer Law Report that suggests, accurately I think, that it will —just barely — not go as far as the front office of the Chicago Black Hawks hockey team.

More interesting is its link to a statement that Congress intends to hold hearings to overturn the Gross decision, ala the Lilly Ledbetter case.

Here's a portion of the statement of Chairman George Miller (D-CA) of the House Committee on Education and Labor:

A narrow majority of the Supreme Court has once again overturned decades of precedent and congressional intent and sided with powerful corporate interests on a workplace discrimination case. Like with the Lilly Ledbetter case, Congress may be forced to clarify the law's intent so we can prevent the damage this decision will have on workers' civil rights. The court's ruling was unacceptable, and this Congress will work to protect all Americans' ability to be treated fairly on the job. Employment decisions should be based on merit, not prejudice.

Mr.  Chairman, I understand that you work in Washington, and measured language is not always the order of the day.  But to say that the Supreme Court "has once again overturned decades of precedent and congressional intent . . .?"  Please.  Take it from one who represents both employers and employees in discrimination cases.  The best that can be said is that the congressional intent was murky and the precedents baffling.  That was a point on which the justices and all lawyers agreed. 

If Congress thinks that the Court's decision should be overturned for policy reasons, fine.  That's how our system works.  But to suggest that the Court arbitrarily overruled "decades of precedent" with some malicious intent is not an objective and even-handed way to approach the issue.

About the Author

Frank Steinberg

Frank is the founder and principal of Steinberg Law, LLC. A Jersey boy born and bred, he focuses on employment litigation and counseling, business litigation,  and aviation law. Following law school and a clerkship in the federal district court Frank spent his early career with large litigation ...

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