SCOTUS – Federal workers win age discrimination case

NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s Tuesday, the 7th of April, 2020. You’re listening to The World and Everything in It and we are so glad you are!  Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. The Supreme Court handed down two opinions yesterday. 

The first ruling made it easier to win age discrimination claims for employees in the public sector. 

Noris Babb sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for age discrimination. She pointed to a law that says employment decisions must be made “free from any discrimination based on age.” This applies to people over 40. 

By an 8 to 1 vote, the court said that means that personnel decisions must not be tainted by consideration of age, whether during the hiring process or after. 

This isn’t an unqualified victory for federal workers. Once age discrimination is proved in a case, then it’s appropriate when considering a remedy whether age was the primary reason the employee suffered harm. 

EICHER: The second opinion is also 8 to 1. It gives police officers more latitude to make traffic stops. Specifically, when police run license plates and find out the owner has a revoked driver’s license, an officer may pull over the driver.

The legal question was whether it’s reasonable to suspect the driver is also the owner. The answer is yes. 

Except, when the officer knows the driver isn’t the owner and pulls him over anyway absent additional evidence.

(AP Photo/Mark Tenally) This is a Jan. 27, 2020 file photo of The Supreme Court in Washington. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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