If you are an employee in Pennsylvania, you are protected from discrimination on a number of fronts. One of the protections that you have is from age discrimination. A recent Supreme Court decision made it easier for federal employees to prove age discrimination. However, the decision also gave a higher standard for employees to be entitled to back pay and reinstatement.

A lower standard for feds to show age discrimination

In order to show that their rights were violated, federal employees need to show that age was a contributing factor to the personnel decision, as opposed to the primary factor. Any differential decision based on age could be grounds for a discrimination lawsuit. This is broader protection than you would have as an employee in the private sector. However, the Supreme Court held that this is exactly what Congress intended with its statutory language. Here, the employee does not have to show that age was the reason for the personnel action. Instead, they only need to prove that age was a factor in the treatment that led to this decision.

Back pay requires a higher showing

 

However, it does get more difficult for employees to make the necessary showing when they are seeking some sort of specific relief. If they want their job back or to receive back pay, they must show that age was the primary cause of their firing. In other words, it is easier to prove that discrimination occurred, but actually getting something for it still requires a higher burden of proof.

If you feel that you have been the victim of age discrimination in any personnel decision, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the employer. You might benefit from consulting an employment law attorney to learn more about your legal rights. The attorney may help by investigating the facts of your case and providing you with an opinion as to whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.