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Mercer University School of Law

Mercer Law Review

Disability Law

2010

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Gross V. Fbl Financial Services, Inc.: A Simple Interpretation Of Text And Precedent Results In Simplified Claims Under The Adea, Robert Fuller May 2010

Gross V. Fbl Financial Services, Inc.: A Simple Interpretation Of Text And Precedent Results In Simplified Claims Under The Adea, Robert Fuller

Mercer Law Review

In Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., the United States Supreme Court was asked to clarify whether the direct evidence requirement articulated in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins-later superseded by the Civil Rights Act of 1991-applied to mixed-motive claims brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). In an unexpected twist, the Court held that a plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of any evidence, direct or indirect, that age was the "but for" or "determinative" cause of the adverse employment action. Accordingly, the employer bears no burden of persuasion on any issue in defending claims …