News & Commentary

February 27, 2017

Emily Miller

Emily Miller is a student at Harvard Law School.

The Eastern District of California held recently that job applicants may bring disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  In Rabin v. Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, plaintiffs filed a putative class action against the company alleging that their hiring practices, such as recruiting through universities and maintaining a mandatory retirement age, disproportionately targeted younger workers.  Additionally, the plaintiffs alleged that recruiting materials were unfairly aimed at younger individuals, as they featured photographs of only young workers and described the workforce as primarily composed of millennials.  As a result, the complaint alleges, the average age of employees at the firm is 27 years old.  The decision declined to follow a 2016 decision by the 11th Circuit that only employees, but not job applicants, may make a disparate impact claim under the ADEA.

The New York Times reports that, with some Republican governors looking to reform and limit Medicaid by imposing work requirements, many of those who currently depend on the program will face obstacles to staying enrolled.  Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid has grown to insure one in five individuals.  Under a proposed Medicaid replacement plan, presented to House members last week, the federal government would cover significantly less of state’s health care costs, and states would have greater freedom to structure their own Medicaid plans.  Given more freedom, Republican governors like Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas plan to require Medicaid recipients to have a job, participate in job training,  or perform community service.  However, advocates for the poor say that this poses insurmountable obstacles for some individuals, especially those with a criminal record or lack a cellphone or reliable transportation.

After calls by the Trump Administration to deport millions of undocumented individuals in the U.S., the restaurant and construction industries, which rely on immigrants to fill low-paying jobs avoided by many U.S. citizens, are becoming concerned that they may face labor shortages, reports the Wall Street Journal.  Nearly half of the 1.1 million foreign-born workers on U.S. farms are undocumented, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Meanwhile, immigration officials are gaining more discretion in who may be arrested and deported while enforcing immigration laws, the New York Times reports.  Last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced that the president wanted to “take the shackles off” of enforcement agents.  This means relying more heavily on local police and allowing for quicker deportations, among other potential policy changes.


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