Washington DC, April 6: The U.S. Supreme Court sided with older federal workers on Monday, making it easier for those over 40 to sue for age discrimination.
The 8-to-1 ruling rejected a Trump administration position that sought to dramatically limit the legal recourse available to federal workers, the NPR reported.
Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, noted that federal law “demands that personnel actions be untainted by any consideration of age.” So if age were a factor here as alleged, the process was not free from discrimination.
But, he said, the relief available to individuals who have been discriminated against may be different, depending on the circumstances. If age discrimination was one of the factors during the process, but not the only factor, then employees may not be entitled to damages and back pay, but they are entitled to prospective relief, like eligibility for a promotional exam, or for a job promotion.
The case was brought by Noris Babb, a clinical pharmacist who worked for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bay Pines, Fla., for 16 years. In that time, she qualified to practice disease management, saw patients and prescribed medication without consulting a physician. And she had received consistently high marks for performance, according to her lawyers.
Yet Babb says that beginning about 10 years ago, when she was in her late 40s, she and other women older than 45 found they were not getting newly classified advanced positions that paid more money. Instead, the women said, those jobs went to people in their 30s, most of them men.