October 7, 2014
Link to Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion
Johnson, a security guard, filed an age discrimination claim against employer, Securitas Security Services (Securitas), after he was fired for leaving a shift early after he collided with a parked semi-trailer while driving a Securitas vehicle. Previously, a Securitas manager had made age-related comments to and about Johnson, recommending retirement or a lessened workload. The district court granted summary judgment for Securitas, concluding Johnson failed to submit sufficient evidence to raise questions of material fact on a necessary element of the prima facie case of age discrimination, and, alternatively, that there was failure to raise a genuine question of material fact regarding Securitas's reasons being merely pretext for age discrimination. On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held there was sufficient evidence to raise a genuine question of material fact regarding the initial prima facie necessary element of the claim, but that there was not sufficient evidence submitted to raise a genuine question of material fact regarding Securitas's stated reasons for dismissal of Johnson being a pretext for age discrimination, thus affirming the district court's holding for summary judgment.