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Case analysis: Age Discrimination Case at the SCOTUS

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July 21, 2021

Case Analysis: Age Discrimination Case at the SCOTUS


To start off, the case involves Noris Babb, an employee of the Department of Veteran Affairs, who was denied promotion, rewards, as well as training opportunities because of old age. In addition, Justice Elena Kagan explained the significant difference between two concepts that can be applied to suit age discrimination case. One of the standards was whether age was the cause of failure within the organization, moreover, it was also suggested that failure will lead to the promotion or reward for Noris, hence why discrimination might have existed in the particular company (Liptak, 2020). The third fact is that Justin Breyer got offended by Alito’s decision, arguing that the Federal government is known to solve discrimination issues for decades, asserting the need to preside over Noris’ case.


The first issue identified is in line with Noris Babb’s placement. For instance, if she worked for the local government, state, or private sector, she would have to prove that age was one of the reasons determining the promotion’s denial. The other issue was whether the concept of age discrimination suits for federal workers; whether it can be determined in a more relaxed standard by showing that only age is among the factors leading to negative employment determination.


The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 aids in the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. According to the Act, organizations can use specific distinctions other than age to promote non-discriminatory practices in the organization. The Civil Rights Center enforces the Act.

Furthermore, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) safeguards the interests of employees with 40 years and above against discrimination by their employers. The safeguards apply to discharging, hiring, promotion, terms, compensation, privileges, and conditions of employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions responsibly follows on complaints from employees facing discrimination from employers.

The Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) also determines grounds upon which discrimination in organizations and programs funded by the federal government. According to the Act, employees and job applicants working on WIA Title I, which includes Federally funded programs considered part of the One-Stop system, cannot be discriminated against based on age. Also, WIA establishes that color, race, sex, religion, political affiliation, disability, and national origin or belief cannot be the basis for job allocation, including promotion and reward schemes.


The ADEA of 1967 applies to Noris’ case. The Act safeguards employees and job applicants with 40 years and above from systemic discriminatory practices in organizations such as hiring, compensation, promotion, and other job-related privileges. Also, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 emphasizes prohibition of discriminative acts on programs funded by the Federal government. This means that Noris could not have been disadvantaged due to her age, as it is against legal provisions protecting employees from demeaning practices by employers. Further, the Act hints at the potential influence of discrimination in mainstream management of the organization, especially regarding practices and activities involving employees. Thus, Norris has every chance to win the case as she was discriminated against the constitutional provisions that prohibit discrimination on the basis on age. Also, since the Department of Veteran Affairs is funded by the Federal government, acts of discrimination in employee relations and management is highly prohibited. Based on these constitutional provisions, Norris had a better chance of winning the suit.


Noris should win the case because Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) establishes limitations to organizations with discriminatory practices. Essentially, the WIA Title I, which defines the federally funded programs and activities, espouses how such organizations should desist from exposing employees to discrimination based on their age.


Noris should not win the case just as justice Elena Kagan explained the suit on age discrimination. It is unclear that age was the cause of failure of the organization to promote Noris. It is also unclear that there was discrimination in the company before.


Liptak, A. (2020, January 15). In age discrimination case, a lively Supreme Court discusses ‘OK, boomer’ and eggless cakes. Chicago Tribune. https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-nyt-supreme-court-ok-boomer-eggless-cakes-20200115-c4bibtzatfdxvfqfsqm66awf3m-story.html

Torres, E. (2020, January 16). ‘OK Boomer’ makes its way into Supreme Court during age discrimination case. ABC News. https://abcnews.go.com/US/boomer-makes-supreme-court-age-discrimination-case/story?id=68310474

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