A federal district court recently addressed the issue of pretext in an age discrimination case. In Goodpaster v. Materials Handling Equipment (No. 09-0059, ND IN, 2010) the court held that’s repeated and coercive inquiries about retirement to a 59-year-old employee may imply age discrimination.
In 1972, Dawson Goodpaster began working for Materials Handling Equipment (MHE), which sells forklift trucks and cranes. He was eventually promoted to a sales position, and worked there until he was terminated in August 2008 at age 59.
MHE claimed that Goodpaster was terminated because the company had been struggling financially due to a sharp decline in its business. However, Goodpaster sued, claiming MHE terminated him based on his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
New ‘but for’ bias standard
At the center of the case is the so-called “but for” standard for age discrimination liability s...(register to read more)