Annual parties were held for current and former 25+ year employees. The Company told two employees not to show up because of their age discrimination lawsuit. When they showed up anyway, they were escorted out by security. Their retaliation claim failed since neither their professional or personal reputations were damaged.

A 51 year old manager sued alleging that his 33 year old supervisor unfairly disciplined him because of his age. The Court found that the manager must show “evidence that age played a motivating part in the defendant’s employment action.” Examples of remarks that showed a discriminatory attitude included referring to a co-worker as old, asking when a co-worker will retire, and noting that “these stories happened before I was born.”

A jury found that age was a substantial or motivating factor in a layoff decision. The Eleventh Circuit found that despite an illegal motive, the same layoff decision would have been made in the absence of discrimination. The “same decision defense” was upheld.

The employer articulated multiple business reasons to discharge a 61 year old accountant and not place him in a lower position. The Court stated “that it is legitimate for an employer to deem someone over-qualified as well as under-qualified, for a position.”

The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the ADEA “does not mean to stop an employer from favoring an older employee over a younger one.’ Editor’s Note: Employers are now permitted to encourage older workers to accept exit packages by providing better packages for older workers. Some supervisors are likely to push some older workers to accept these packages; such coercion will likely result in more age discrimination cases. Supervisors must be trained how to talk with employees about exit packages in order to avoid such claims. Contact IET at 888-HR-TRAIN to discuss this further.

The Seventh Circuit used an economic realities/degree of control test to find that a company could be deemed a joint employer under Title VII and the ADEA. The fact that a company provided health insurance and authorized pay raises, in light of a lost personnel file and notwithstanding the fact that another entity issued paychecks and a w-2, entitled plaintiff to a jury trial on the issue of who is the employer.

A teacher for 30 years was fired after her Vice Principal told a student that she was “too old to be in the classroom.” Because the V.P. was involved in the decision making process, the case could not be dismissed on summary judgment.

Former managers terminated as part of a RIF complain that the Port Authority ignored its employment manuals and policy guidelines. The Second Circuit finds no contractual violation because of the unambiguous employment-at-will disclaimer.

General Dynamics Land Systems entered into a collective bargaining agreement that provided retiree benefits to retiring employees over age 50. The 40-50 year old set sued.

Disagreeing with the First, Second, and Seventh Circuits, the Sixth Circuit agreed that this was unlawful age discrimination under the ADEA.

A female VP sent 11 erectile dysfunction pamphlets to a male VP. His claim of sexual harassment failed because this harassment was not “severe, pervasive and regular.” However, the pamphlets could support his age discrimination claim.