Seasonwein v. First Montauk Securities Corp., 2009 WL 806637 (3d Cir., March 30, 2009) – The plaintiff was a 60-year-old compliance officer who was laid off, along with 27 other employees, when the defendant’s business went into a steep decline. A jury found in favor of the defendant on the plaintiff’s subsequent claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
On appeal, the plaintiff argued the district court erred in permitting the employer to introduce demographic evidence regarding the ages of all 27 employees laid off, which constituted approximately 25% of its workforce. Rather, the plaintiff claimed, the evidence should have been limited to that regarding only traders who were laid off, the majority of whom were over 40.
The Third Circuit concluded the district court acted properly in admitting the broader range of evidence, as the plaintiff spent the majority of his time working as a compliance officer/analyst, and not as a trader. Thus, the court was well within its discretion in determining that evidence relating to all laid off employees was relevant.
Note: This article was published in the May 2009 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.