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Intent to retire – Decision maker looms large in ADEA case


SKU: ELBmj142. Category: .


Abstract: When a school board eliminated the position of a long-serving African-American janitor, it attributed the decision to the employee’s stated intent to retire, as well as a budgetary shortfall. The employee believed this was pretextual and sued. As this article describes, the district court granted the board’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that, regardless of the supervisor’s knowledge or intent, the board genuinely — even if mistakenly — believed that the plaintiff wanted to retire. But the appeals court overruled, maintaining that the superintendent’s discriminatory animus could be imputed to the board because of her influence on its adverse employment action. Harris v. Powhatan County School Board, No. 12-2091, Oct. 22, 2013 (4th Cir.)

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