recent case determined that an employer’s varying rationale for terminating
a manager showed “pretext” sufficient to withstand a motion
for summary judgment.
Eades v. Brookdale Senior Living Inc., a 42 –year-old man, David Eades – was fired from his job at
a senior living center. Eades subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging violations of the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and retaliation. A federal trial court granted summary judgment
against him, and he appealed the claim of retaliation.
Title VII and other discrimination laws prohibit retaliation in the workplace.
If you experience retaliation in the workplace, you are entitled to the
same remedies as you have in an analogous discrimination case. It is important
to note though, retaliation does not mean any type of retaliatory conduct
by your employer. Retaliation means you complained about discriminatory
conduct in the workplace and you were retaliated against as a result.
Here, the company presented a variety of reasons for terminating Eades
including that Eades stated he could no longer work at the company and
requested a severance package, that he was fired for performance problems,
that he kept a severance package from a former employer, and that he rejected
the severance package he was offered.
Although the company’s explanation may or may not lead to an ultimate
conclusion that it retaliated against Eades, as noted by Judge John R.
Gibson, “Shifting justifications over time call the credibility
of those justifications into question.” As a result, the alternating
excuses behind Eades termination created a genuine issue of material fact
sufficient to preclude summary judgment.”
The bottom line – making up various excuses for adverse employment
actions may be a red flag that your employer has acted inappropriately
and violated anti-discrimination and retaliation laws.
If you have been terminated or suffered an adverse employment action as
the result of discrimination or participating in a protected activity,
you may have a claim for employment discrimination or retaliation. For
contact The Buckley Law Firm, LLC, a Georgia Law Firm dedicated to protecting