Claimant States Enough in 2.5 Pages for Age Discrimination, Wrongful Discharge Suit to Proceed, 9th Circuit Says
The Court says that the plaintiff’s “two-and-one-half page complaint, while brief, nonetheless satisfies [the] pleading standard” under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). The standard requires that a claim be “plausible on its face,” it does not require that a complaint contain “detailed factual allegations,” says the Court.
Her complaint alleges that: (1) she was at least forty years old; (2) “her performance was satisfactory or better” and that “she received consistently good performance reviews”; (3) she was discharged; and (4) her five younger comparators kept their jobs; her allegation that her five younger comparators kept their jobs gives rise to an “inference of age discrimination” because it plausibly suggests that the employer “had a continuing need for [her] skills and services [because her] various duties were still being performed,” the Court says, and that her allegations are sufficient to state a prima facie case of discrimination.Regarding her wrongful discharge claim, all the claimant had to do was “establish a ‘causal connection’ between a protected activity and the discharge,” the Court observes. In this case, she had alleged that, ‘[p]rior to her termination, [she] requested Family Medical Leave for a serious illness.’ Her amended complaint further alleges that she was ‘terminated immediately after she scheduled the surgery for which she requested Family Medical Leave’ and that, prior to her termination, [she] had ‘received consistently good performance reviews.’ These allegations are sufficient to state a claim for wrongful discharge, the Court says. Sheppard v. Dale Evans and Associates