A unanimous, eight-member Supreme Court has just ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) applies to public sector employers regardless of their size. The law prohibits employment discrimination against those 40 and older. The ruling will allow two firefighters to pursue age discrimination claims against their small Arizona fire district.
Some 56 percent of non-union, private sector workers in the U.S. are subject to an individual arbitration clause in their employment contract. In other words, they cannot band together in a class action but must bring any employment-related claim in individual arbitration. Perhaps tens of millions of people are therefore barred from what is often the most effective method of challenging illegality in their workplaces.