Age Discrimination Claims Properly Dismissed; Suspicion of Theft Was a Legitimate, Nondiscriminatory, Non-Pretextual Reason for Termination

In Arifi v. Cent. Moving & Storage Co., No. 159334/12, 2017 WL 628321 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept. Feb. 16, 2017), the court affirmed the lower court’s order granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s age discrimination claims.

From the decision:

In moving for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s claims for age-based employment discrimination under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws, defendant proffered video footage, which it believed showed plaintiff and another employee surveying and intending to purloin a customer’s computer equipment, as a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for terminating plaintiff. In response to this showing, plaintiff failed to point to any evidence raising an issue of fact as to whether defendant’s proffered reason was pretextual or whether [plaintiff’s protected characteristic] otherwise played a part in its decision.

The court also held that “[t]he absence of any evidence of age-based discriminatory animus likewise is fatal to [plaintiff’s] claim of hostile work environment.”

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