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AARP: Most support legislation to overturn Gross v. FBL ruling

AARP has released results from a survey showing that 53 percent of people “strongly” agree with bipartisan legislation to end age discrimination.

The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act is intended to combat the Supreme Court ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, which AARP claims raised the standard for workers to prove employers violated the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, according to a release.

The legislation has been endorsed by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, both of Iowa.

After the Gross decision, employees must prove that age was the determining factor in termination, as opposed to the previous standard that age was only one motivating factor, according to the release. The legislation, endorsed by AARP, would restore the old standard.

In April 2004, Jack Gross filed a complaint arguing that West Des Moines-based FBL Financial Group Inc. (FBL) denied him a promotion because of his age. Gross was 54 at the time. 

In 2005, a jury found that FBL didn’t promote him because of his age, but ruled it was not intentional. The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009, who gave a ruling many legal analysts argue favors employers.

To read a Business Record story on the Gross v. FBL case, click here.

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