Question About Retirement Plans Alone Insufficient to Survive Summary Judgment on Age Discrimination Claim

In Silvers v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 15-CV-6721 (KBF), 2016 WL 5875076 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 7, 2016), the court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims of age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the New York State Human Rights Law.

From the decision:

Plaintiff raises no triable issue of material fact as to whether defendant discriminated against him on the basis of age. As the Court must resolve all factual inferences … in favor of the nonmovant when facts are disputed …, the Court assumes for the sake of summary judgment that Vargas did ask, months before his termination, whether he had plans for retirement or had interest in stepping down from management. Standing alone, this fact does not support an inference of age discrimination. At best, the alleged remarks occurred months before the termination decision, the content of the alleged remarks did not indicate that Vargas actively encouraged plaintiff to retire or evinced concern about his age, and the context of the remark was not related to the decision-making process about plaintiff’s termination.

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