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Showing 10 posts in ADEA.

Court Denies Employee’s Request to Revoke Settlement Agreement due to Invalid OWBPA Release

The chemical company worker was terminated in March 2009 due to an industrial accident. The worker challenged the termination through his union, and the union filed a grievance on his behalf. The employer denied the grievance, which prompted the union to file for arbitration under the collective bargaining agreement. The parties were ultimately able to reach a resolution prior to the arbitration. The worker and the employer entered into a settlement agreement and release of claims related to his termination.  More ›

Employee’s Settlement Proceeds from age Discrimination Dispute Subject to FICA Tax Withholding

After the financial services employee was terminated, he filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that his employer discriminated against him in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and New York state law. The parties ultimately resolved the dispute for $250,000. When making the payment, the employer withheld taxes pursuant to the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA). The employee claimed that this was improper and filed suit, seeking a refund of the $4,218 withholding. More ›

Court Incorrectly Denies Employee Opportunity to Present Comparator Evidence

A product engineer took an approved four-week leave of absence to visit family in Gaza, but upon return, security issues rendered it impossible for him to return to the United States prior to the end of his leave. His employer extended his leave for another 45 days. On the day he was scheduled to be terminated for failure to return to work, the employee sent an email to his supervisors advising that he was finally able to exit Israel and was trying to get a flight back to the United States.The employee returned to work roughly one week later and was informed that he had been terminated. More ›

Court Finds Epileptic Employee not "Qualified Individual" Under ADA or Missouri Law

A mammography technician with epilepsy had suffered numerous seizures at work. The technician suffered epileptic seizures unpredictably, and they caused her to lose orientation and muscle control, which led to falls and injuries. The risk of injury to the technician and patients was too great, and the employer placed her on paid administrative leave. The employer thereafter made various other accommodations in order to eliminate environmental triggers to her seizures. Though she returned to work, the seizures continued. Her continued seizures and failure to find a accommodation led to the employer placing the technician on unpaid administrative leave. Once she began taking medicine to help control her seizures, the employer offered to reinstate her, but she refused.  More ›

11th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment in ADEA case where Plaintiff used "Cat’s Paw" Theory

Not all well-designed plans succeed. In the area of employment terminations, however, the practice of having termination decisions made independently by someone other than the employee's immediate supervisor increases the odds of obtaining summary judgment and avoiding trial. More ›

11th Circuit Overrules Summary Judgment in ADEA Case Based On Vice-President’s Reputed Statement

The case of Kragor v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., No. 11-16052 (11th Cir. December 20, 2012) reminds employers how easily summary judgment can slip away in a discrimination case based on statements attributed to senior management. The court started its analysis with a quote from the mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Blaise Pascal. "Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth." Given that plaintiff appealed a summary judgment granted to the employer, such words signaled a reversal on appeal. More ›

Co-Workers’ Seemingly Ageist Remarks Insufficient to Create Triable Issue of fact in ADEA Case

During the course of an investigation into employees fraudulently submitting falsified customer service surveys, a 60 year-old employee was terminated. He subsequently filed an age-discrimination claim in Texas state court pursuant to the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). In support of his claim, he claimed his co-workers called him names like "old man," "old fart," "pops," and "grandpa," but he never reported this before he was terminated. The District Court granted summary judgment on behalf of the employer. The employee appealed, contending the District Court 1) used the wrong causation standard in analyzing his termination and 2) erred in granting summary judgment on his hostile work environment claim. More ›

Ninth Circuit Permits use of “Burden-Shifting” Test over “But For” Standard in ADEA Case

An Army employee filed suit against the Secretary of the Army and the United States Army Corps of Engineers alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") after he was not interviewed and his applications for two promotions were denied. The lower court relied upon the newer Gross v. FBL Financial standard of determining causation in an ADEA case, and found that the employee could not demonstrate that “but for” his age, he would have been given the position(s). More ›

Fifth Circuit Recognizes “Hostile Work Environment” Claim Under the ADEA

In a matter of first impression, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the employer and permitted the employee to proceed with his harassment claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  More ›

Waiver Language Sufficiently Clear to Satisfy Requirements of the OWBPA

Upon his termination, a 62-year-old photo editor was provided with a severance package including 20 weeks’ salary and other benefits. In exchange for it, he signed a separation agreement, which contained a provision stating that he waived and released any and all claims against the employer including claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The separation agreement further provided that nothing in it restricted the employee’s right under the ADEA to challenge the agreement’s validity. It also stated that the waiver and release do not apply to any ADEA claims that might arise after the date that the employee signed the separation agreement. Two years later, the employee sued the employer, alleging that his termination was a pretext for age discrimination in violation of the ADEA because his position remained extant and was filled by a younger employee. The employer argued that the employee’s claim was precluded by the separation agreement’s waiver provision. The employee countered that the waiver provision was not enforceable because it was unduly lengthy and confusing in violation of the requirements of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the employer had satisfied the OWBPA’s requirements because the waiver provision was written in a manner calculated to be understood by its relevant employees. To ensure that waiver provisions are enforceable under the OWBPA, they must be drafted so that employees can understand what the waiver’s effect will be.

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