A number of former employees of Renssaelear Poly technical Institute, an engineering school in upstate New York, have filed a lawsuit against the school. The employees are claiming that the school was determined to clear out older, more experienced workers. The suit is being brought by over eighty former employees. The lawsuit contends that while the schools staff is comprised of over 2,000 individuals, with around 60 percent of those workers being 40 or older, while individuals over the age of 40 made up over eighty percent of those fired.
Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, individuals or groups have the burden of proving that there was a disparate impact on the group of older employees when evaluating employment decisions. The suit claims that the school intentionally fired elder employees and sought to lower the age of their demographics. Although age discrimination cases have become more difficult to prevail upon following the Supreme Court’s decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, which held that age must be the sole motivating factor for an employment action, cases where there a larger class of individuals may be able to suffciently meet this burden.