/ February 29, 2008

Supreme Court Rules In Age Discrimination Case

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Sprint/United Management Co. vs. Mendelsohn, a suit brought by a former Sprint employee alleging that her termination resulted from age discrimination. The justices ruled unanimously to vacate the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, which had overturned the District Court’s decision in favor of Sprint. The Circuit Court had ruled that the testimony by co-workers who had experienced discrimination at the company under different supervisors should have been included in the District Court proceedings.

Lawyers for Mendelsohn argued that the evidence was relevant because it indicated there was a “biased corporate culture” at Sprint which facillitated age discrimination. The US Supreme Court has ordered the District Court to “clarify the basis for the evidentiary ruling.” While this ruling may be in favor of Sprint, some experts believe the decision could be used in the future to allow the testimony of co-workers in job discrimination cases.

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