Dallas Employment Lawyer - Keith Clouse

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Pretext in an Age Discrimination Case Explained by Dallas Employment Lawyer

The employer must offer a legitimate explanation for the termination.

July 26, 2015

(press release: cdklawyers) // Dallas, Texas, United States // Keith Clouse

In an age discrimination termination case under either the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act or the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, a plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case by showing that: (1) he was discharged; (2) he was qualified for the position; (3) he was within the protected class at the time of the termination; and (4) he was either replaced by someone outside the protected class, replaced by someone younger, or otherwise discharged because of his age. The employer may then offer a legitimate explanation for the termination. For example, an employer might state that it terminated the employee for performance issues or as part of a corporate restructuring.

The employee must then discredit the employer’s explanation in order to recover damages. The employee does this by showing that the employer’s proffered reasons were merely a pretext for discrimination. For example, he can show that he performed better than his coworkers or that his position was the only position targeted as part of the restructuring process. The plaintiff must present enough evidence for the jury to conclude that age was the reason for the adverse employment action under federal law or that age was a “motivating factor” under Texas law.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney about age discrimination, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705.