Successfully Defended a Client Against Claims of Age and Sex Discrimination
In 2017, we successfully defended our client, a multi-national corporation, against claims of age and sex discrimination under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and Kentucky's Civil Rights Act (KRS Ch. 344). The two plaintiffs were former employees of our client's manufacturing plant in eastern Kentucky. Due to a plantwide reduction-in-force (RIF), the plaintiffs and other employees were laid off pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement between our client and the employees' union. The pair sued, claiming their layoffs were not based on seniority, but rather were based on their gender and age.
We took both plaintiffs' depositions, defended the deposition of our client's company representative, engaged in extensive discovery, and filed a motion of summary judgement, which was granted in our client's favor on the eve of a jury trial. The case was dismissed as to all claims with prejudice. In granting summary judgement, the court held that the plaintiffs had not identified facts that established a prima facie case for employment discrimination under the heightened RIF standard, which requires a plaintiff to provide additional direct, circumstantial or statistical evidence indicating that the employer had "singled out" the plaintiff for discharge for impermissible reasons. Further, the court held even if plaintiffs were able to establish a prima facie case against our client, they failed to provide evidence our client's reasons for the plaintiffs' layoffs were pretextual.