Fact or fiction: Federal law recognizes “reverse age discrimination”

old-people.jpgWelcome to the inaugural edition of “Fact or Fiction” a/k/a “Quick Answers to Quick Questions” a/k/a QATQQ f/k/a “I don’t feel like writing a long blog post“.

So, I was recently asked whether a younger employee may have a federal age-discrimination claim against his employer if the company treats a similarly-situated older employee better.

The answer is no. In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court in General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) does not forbid discriminatory preference for the old over the young.

Update: Some readers on LinkedIn wisely noted that, notwithstanding the federal position on “reverse age discrimination,” some states and municipalities have laws on the books that do recognize claims based on discriminatory preference for the old over the young. New Jersey is one of those states.

Image Credit: HollywoodRepublican.net

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