Workers who sue their employers for age discrimination will find their cases much harder to win under a Supreme Court ruling issued yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that it is up to employees who believe they were fired or demoted because of their age to prove their age was the deciding factor.
The decision—which applies only to individual workers—reverses a long-standing rule. Previously, the onus was on employers, who had to prove that they had a legitimate reason for the firing apart from age. The AARP, civil rights groups, and the dissenting judges heavily criticized the decision, which comes amid a sharp increase in the number of age bias suits reaching the courts.