Cite as: 517 U. S. 308 (1996)
Opinion of the Court
sis added). In the age-discrimination context, such an inference cannot be drawn from the replacement of one worker with another worker insignificantly younger. Because the ADEA prohibits discrimination on the basis of age and not class membership, the fact that a replacement is substantially younger than the plaintiff is a far more reliable indicator of age discrimination than is the fact that the plaintiff was replaced by someone outside the protected class.
The judgment of the Fourth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
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