Labs in Court

Federal Court Tosses Age Discrimination Lawsuit against LabCorp

Case: Why did LabCorp terminate the 65-year-old microbiology department manager after 42 years of service? The manager claimed she was fired because of her age; LabCorp said she was fired for her steadily declining performance. The lower federal court sided with LabCorp and dismissed the manager’s Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) claim without a trial. After reviewing the case for itself, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit made the same determination.

Significance: As usual in ADEA cases, this case was all about the evidence, or lack thereof. All the manager had to support her accusation that LabCorp’s performance concerns were a pretext for age discrimination was circumstantial evidence. By contrast, LabCorp had detailed records documenting the manager’s poor performance, including metrics documenting the decline of the department starting in the years she assumed its management; it also produced warnings and other records of progressive disciplinary actions it took in the attempt, ultimately, unsuccessful, to help her improve [Henderson v. Lab. Corp. of Am. Holdings, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 10650, __ Fed. Appx. __, 2021 WL 1401462].

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