The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment for an employer in a discrimination case. Kretchmer v. Eveden Inc., No. 09-10556 (5th Cir. March 12, 2010), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/09/09-10556.0.wpd.pdf.
The plaintiff sued his former employer for religious and age discrimination after being terminated from his position as a sales account executive. The employer did not dispute that the plaintiff established a prima facie case for both age and religious discrimination, but it argued that it presented legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating the plaintiff’s employment. Among other reasons, the employer stated that it terminated the plaintiff’s employment because it realigned its sales territory and recognized that the plaintiff would not be an effective sales manager for two major accounts since their representatives commented that they did not wish to work with the plaintiff.
Because the employer articulated legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating the plaintiff’s employment, the plaintiff had to show that the employer’s reasons were not true. The plaintiff failed to rebut at least one of the employer’s reasons with any evidence showing that the reason was merely pretext. Thus, summary judgment for the employer was appropriate.
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