U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number



2007 Term

Oral Argument Date

April 23, 2008


Questions Presented

1. Whether an employee alleging disparate impact under the ADEA bears the burden of persuasion on the “reasonable factors other than age” defense, as held by the Second Circuit in this case in conflict with the decisions of other circuits and a regulation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

2. Whether respondents’ practice of conferring broad discretionary authority upon individual managers to decide which employees to lay off during a reduction in force constituted a “reasonable factor other than age” as a matter of law.

Case Updates

Supreme Court holds employers bear burden of persuasion under ADEA

June 19, 2008

Disagreeing with NCLC, the Supreme Court held that employers bear the burden of proving that the employer relied on “reasonable factors other than age” (RFOA) for disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief on the merits

April 11, 2008

NCLC urged the Supreme Court to uphold a Second Circuit decision holding that employees bringing disparate impact claims under the ADEA have the burden of proving that the employer did not rely on “reasonable factors other than age” (RFOA). In its brief, NCLC argued that plaintiffs have a statutory burden to establish that the alleged discrimination was because of the plaintiffs’ age. Congress designed the ADEA to target arbitrary discrimination based on stereotypical judgments about older workers, while carefully preserving employers’ flexibility to make the type of reasoned workplace decisions that commonly correlate with age.

Case Documents