Tuesday, January 21, 2020

You can't prove age discrimination if you're replaced by someone older

Crescent Metal Products fired Donald Tschappatt for a variety of instances of poor work performance. He made "negative comments" about co-workers. He stood around doing nothing and disappeared from his work area. He took extended bathroom breaks. And he made various assembly and packing errors.

After the company fired the 55-year-old Tschappatt, he sued for age discrimination.

The problem with Tschappatt's claim? Crescent Metal Products replaced him with someone six years older. That's not a great fact for an employee claiming age discrimination.

As the court explained:

Tschappatt fails … to show that he was replaced by someone younger. All of the competent and relevant evidence indicates that the company replaced him with Bob Hunter, who was 61.… Crescent put in plenty of evidence that Bob Hunter, age 61, replaced Tschappatt. Crescent reassigned Hunter to Tschappatt’s position, and Hunter has been "able to successfully reach the same production goals" and "perform all of the duties" of the position "without incident."

The law protects older workers from discrimination favoring younger workers. An employee cannot establish this if replaced by someone older. Case closed.

* Image by Isa KARAKUS from Pixabay