Reversing a federal trial court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has issued a ruling that articulates the standard the court will apply in considering an unlawful retaliation claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Importantly, the court’s ruling in Davis-Garett v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., No. 17-3371-cv (2d Cir. April 8, 2019), makes clear that the plaintiff did not have to show that the employer’s adverse action involved a “term or condition of employment” in order to make a valid claim of retaliation under the ADEA. Rather, the employee needed to show only that the employer’s action was materially adverse, that is, was harmful enough to dissuade a reasonable employee from making or supporting a discrimination charge.   

The Second Circuit thus applied the retaliation standard adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in its landmark 2006 ruling in BNSF v. White, a case brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which the appeals court concluded was appropriate to apply here.    

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.