New Jersey Appellate Division Holds Age Discrimination Plaintiff Need Not Show She Was Replaced Or Her Employer Sought A Replacement

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently held that in an age discrimination case, the fourth element of the plaintiff’s prima facie burden—that plaintiff was replaced (or the employer sought a replacement) by someone sufficiently younger to permit an inference of age discrimination—is a “flexible” prong that can be met under various alternate circumstances. Cohen v. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, A-1300-12T1 (Dec. 30, 2013). Citing a Second Circuit Court of Appeals case brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Appellate Division listed the following factual scenarios that could satisfy the flexible fourth prong of a New Jersey Law Against Discrimination age case: (1) actions or remarks made by a decision maker reflecting a discriminatory animus; (2) preferential treatment given to employees outside the protected class; (3) in a corporate downsizing, a systematic transfer of a discharged employee’s duties to other employees; (4) a pattern of recommending plaintiff for positions for which he or she is not qualified and failure to surface plaintiff's name for positions for which he or she is well qualified; (5) continued seeking of applicants to fill the position after plaintiff’s termination; or (6) the timing and sequence of events leading to a termination.

Note: This article was published in the January 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

- See more at: http://www.ogletreedeakins.com/publications/2014-01-14/new-jersey-appellate-division-holds-age-discrimination-plaintiff-need-not-sh#sthash.G87mrnk5.dpuf

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently held that in an age discrimination case, the fourth element of the plaintiff’s prima facie burden—that plaintiff was replaced (or the employer sought a replacement) by someone sufficiently younger to permit an inference of age discrimination—is a “flexible” prong that can be met under various alternate circumstances. Cohen v. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, A-1300-12T1 (Dec. 30, 2013). Citing a Second Circuit Court of Appeals case brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Appellate Division listed the following factual scenarios that could satisfy the flexible fourth prong of a New Jersey Law Against Discrimination age case: (1) actions or remarks made by a decision maker reflecting a discriminatory animus; (2) preferential treatment given to employees outside the protected class; (3) in a corporate downsizing, a systematic transfer of a discharged employee’s duties to other employees; (4) a pattern of recommending plaintiff for positions for which he or she is not qualified and failure to surface plaintiff's name for positions for which he or she is well qualified; (5) continued seeking of applicants to fill the position after plaintiff’s termination; or (6) the timing and sequence of events leading to a termination.

Note: This article was published in the January 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

Topics:  ADEA, Age Discrimination, Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Inference

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Civil Rights Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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