Published: Sat, January 18, 2020
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

U.S. chief justice lobs an 'OK Boomer' in age case

U.S. chief justice lobs an 'OK Boomer' in age case

Boomers hate being called boomers, even though that is what they are.

"We're saying what the statute says... that it needs to be made free from discrimination".

On Wednesday, while the bench was hearing a case regarding the standard a federal employee must meet to prove that he had been a victim of unlawful age discrimination by his employer, Roberts evoked the meme. Her lawyer Roman Martinez was pushing for the latter, as it's a much easier bar to clear.

Vogue reported "OK Boomer" grew in popularity a year ago in response to a video of an older man criticizing Gen Z and millennials for having Peter Pan Syndrome.

"Now, you're only concerned about process".

"The hiring person, who's younger, says, 'OK, Boomer, ' once to the applicant", Roberts said as he conjured a hypothetical exchange to try to figure out when an older federal employee might be able to win a lawsuit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. It doesn't have to have played a role in the actual decision.

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Roberts asked if "stray comments" like the usually humorous "OK, boomer" would indicate that age was a "significant factor" in the decision not to hire someone, and if condemning off-hand comments like that would lead to a "regulation of speech in the workplace".

In response Martinez stood by his argument, comparing the term "boomer" to ethnic slurs.

This is a phenomenal stretch, considering that calling someone a "boomer" and calling them the n-word are not analogous at all. Numerous people before Roberts have brutally murdered this supremely cold take, akin to how boomers brutally murdered the economy.

Fair enough. Although when that boomer who you hired over a Supreme Court ruling manages to download a computer virus on their very first day on the job, in that instance, a well deserved "OK boomer" is probably more than warranted.

Roberts' questioning wasn't the first time "OK, boomer" has been used by a prominent person in government - in November, a 25-year-old lawmaker in New Zealand used the retort in the country's legislature when an older lawmaker interrupted her speech during a debate on climate change. It seems they're becoming self-aware.

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