Utah Employment Law Letter - September 2013: TERMINATION : ‘Grandma’s Feather Bed’: Court puts feather tester’s claims to sleep

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It was nine feet high and six feet wide, soft as a downy chick. It was made from the feathers of forty ‘leven geese Took a whole bolt of cloth for the tick.

So goes the popular song written and performed by the late John Denver. While Grandma may not have had her feathers from the “forty ‘leven geese” tested, apparently there is a need for that in the textile industry. The following case involves the claims of a Hispanic female feather tester who alleged her employer violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) when, among other things, it reduced her hours and eventually terminated her employment as part of a reduction in force (RIF). Go ahead, make yourself comfortable (even if you don’t climb in bed with the “eight kids ‘n’ four hound dogs and a piggy we stole from the shed”), and read on to find out how the federal district court ruled after all the feathers had settled.

Originally published in the Utah Employment Law Letter - September 2013.

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