By A. Edward Hardin, Jr.

“OK Boomer” is a common catchphrase, often used in the context of a younger person being dismissive of an older person.  The person on the receiving end of the quip may not be a “Boomer” per se (i.e., a member Baby Boomer generation), and should the recipient of the quip point that fact out, that correction would most certainly be met with the related response – “whatever Boomer” (perhaps punctuated with an optional eye roll).  Semantics aside, does the phrase create issues under the age discrimination statutes?  This was the very issue raised by Chief Justice John Roberts in a recent oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court.  In his questioning, in a case involving federal employees, Chief Justice Roberts asked if the phrase “OK Boomer” was actionable.  Comments, including so called “stray remarks,” are often put forward as proof of discriminatory animus.  It will be interesting to see what, if any, guidance the Supreme Court provides regarding the use of, and impact of, comments like “OK Boomer” in various discrimination cases.  For a story about Chief Justice Roberts question click here.