South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Supervisor's Remarks Provide Basis for Age Discrimination Suit
Description Appeals court held that the remarks of a supervisor about an employee's age, which preceded his being fired, provided a prima facie basis for an age discrimination suit that put the burden on the employer to show that the reason for the dismissal was not age related.
Topic Employment Discrimination
Key Words Age Discrimination; Genuine Issue; Burden of Proof; Motive
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts In 1998, when Fakete was 56 years old and three months before his pension vested, he was fired. Before he was fired, his boss told him that management was not favorable to him because they wanted younger, single people who would work more hours, so Fakete would not be happy with the company in the future. Fakete sued but the case was dismissed. Fakete appealed.

Reversed. A genuine issue of material fact, as to whether Fakete’s age was a substantial motivating factor in the decision to fire him precluded summary judgment on his claim. Fakete presented a prima facie case of discrimination. The burden of persuasion sits and the employer must prove that it would have fired him even if it had not considered his age.

Citation Fakete v. Aetna, Inc., 308 F.3d 335 (3rd Cir., 2002)

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