Academic journal article The University of Memphis Law Review

The O'Connor Standard-How Wide Is the Divide?

Academic journal article The University of Memphis Law Review

The O'Connor Standard-How Wide Is the Divide?

Article excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

The United States Supreme Court attempted to clarify the plaintiff's prima facie burden of proof under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act' ("ADEA") in O'Connor v. Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp. 2 Specifically, the Court addressed the fourth element necessary for a discharged ADEA plaintiff to establish a prima facie claim and announced that a plaintiffs burden was to establish a "substantial" age difference between himself and his replacement.' Regrettably, the Court's decision shed no light on the disparity required to establish what difference in age constitutes a substantial difference.

IV. CONCLUSION

While the O'Connor court explained the standard which should not be used in assessing a plaintiff's prima facie claim, it regrettably did not define the parameters of the fourth element of a prima facie claim, beyond the direction that the age difference between a plaintiff and his replacement must be substantial. …

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