Document Type

Supreme Court Commentaries

Publication Date



Civil Rights

Subject Category

Constitutional Law | Law


When Jackson, Mississippi revised its salary structure for police and public safety officers, it gave proportionately higher increases to officers with less than five years of seniority, who were overwhelmingly under forty years old. Thirty officers over the age of forty sued the city for age discrimination, alleging disparate impact. In a plurality opinion, the Court held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act authorized claims of disparate impact. When it accepted the employer’s justification for the raise and dismissed the plaintiffs’ claim, however, the Court signaled that in the future, the scope of disparate impact claims would be narrow.