“JUSTICE IN AMERICA – Dr Robert M. Johnson’s Story”
Do you feeling picked on because you are older than your co-workers? Do you suspect you lost your job because you’re older — and because you made more money than younger workers?
Age discrimination is a common complaint. A recent survey for AARP reported 64% of respondents thought that people older than 50 face age discrimination in the workplace.
Some 34% said they had either personally faced age discrimination in the last four years or they know someone who has. The impact of age discrimination is more than just financial. “Older workers who think they are discriminated against are always so angry and hurt. Their personal identity is tied up in their jobs, but feeling like a victim of age discrimination and being able to prove it are two very different things. Proving age discrimination has never been easy, but in 2009, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling made it even more difficult.
In the 2009 Gross v. FBL Financial Services case, the court changed the rules. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and a former Monsanto corporate lawyer, wrote in the majority decision ‘that the employer doesn’t have to show it would have taken action regardless of age, even when an employee has evidence that age was a motivating factor in that decision.’
New Legislation that would change burden of proof and causation standards for a number of employment discrimination claims was reintroduced in the House and Senate in July 2013.
The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) (H.R. 2852, S. 1391) would overturn two Supreme Court decisions that toughened the burdens of proof for employees bringing discrimination claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) or advancing retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
In reversing Gross, POWADA would establish that when an employee shows discrimination was a “motivating factor” behind a decision, the burden shifts back to the employer to show it complied with the law. In essence, a plaintiff brining a claim under the ADEA would not be required to demonstrate that age was the sole cause of the contested employment practice.
In a more recent Supreme Court decision, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the Court held that Title VII retaliation claims must be proved using a “but-for” causation standard as well.
Under the standard of causation adopted in Nassar, a claimant must prove “that the unlawful retaliation would not have occurred in the absence of the alleged wrongful action or actions of the employer.”
The POWADA would provide that the more lenient motivating factor standard would apply not just to ADEA claims, but also to retaliation claims involving race, sex, national origin and religion, as well as claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
In a press release, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), one of the Senate bill’s co-sponsors, stated:
The Supreme Court’s divisive holding in Gross has created uncertainty in our civil rights laws, making it incumbent on Congress to clarify our intent and the statutory protections that all hardworking Americans deserve. . .
Our bipartisan bill re-establishes Congress’ intent that age discrimination is unlawful, and it makes clear that employers cannot get away with age discrimination by simply coming up with a reason to terminate an employee that sounds less controversial.
The older generation, those born from 1946 to 1964, account for the fastest-growing segment of workplace discrimination claims.
In 2012, 22,875 people filed age claims with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, compared with 15,875 in 1997.
“Employers may think they could get rid of older workers and bring in younger, less-experienced workers to save money, without realizing that could constitute age discrimination.”
Today the INSIDER EXCLUSIVE “Justice in America” News team, “Goes Behind the Headlines” in “Justice in America – Dr Robert M. Johnson’s Story” ……. to examine how Ralph Wegis, Founder @ The Law Offices of Ralph Wegis won a record setting age discrimination case for Dr Robert M. Johnson, an 85-year old surgeon for $20 Million.
The California State prison in Lancaster, Calif, where he worked for almost the past decade, as the Chief Medical Officer, forced him to retire in 2001, when he was only 81. When he refused, he became the target of retribution, harassment, and fraudulent complaints to the state medical board. An expert witness testified, that despite his chronological age at the time of his forced termination at 81, he had the mind and stamina of a 55-year old.
This $20 Million dollar verdict set a precedent for age discrimination and sent a message to the public, that “older,” more experienced employees and members of society should be valued and respected, and not simply discarded like yesterday’s trash.
Ralph Wegis has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in Bakersfield, and in California. His firm’s goals are….. Not ONLY To get Justice for his clients…but to make sure that everyone is treated with equal respect and dignity as guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States.
Ralph has built a substantial reputation by consistently winning cases other law firms have turned down. His amazing courtroom skills and headline grabbing success rate continue to provide his clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve.
You can get more information on Ralph Wegis at his law firm http://ralphwegis.com/
or call (661) 635-2100.