675 F.2d 1221 (11th Cir. 1982), 81-7392, Anderson v. Savage Laboratories, Inc.

Docket Nº:81-7392.
Citation:675 F.2d 1221
Party Name:Louis L. ANDERSON, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SAVAGE LABORATORIES, INC., a Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:May 13, 1982
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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Page 1221

675 F.2d 1221 (11th Cir. 1982)

Louis L. ANDERSON, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

SAVAGE LABORATORIES, INC., a Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 81-7392.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

May 13, 1982

Page 1222

Alvin T. Prestwood, Claude P. Rosser, Jr., Montgomery, Ala., for plaintiff-appellant.

Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, Montgomery, Ala., Townley & Updike, Kenneth McCulloch, New York City, for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

Page 1223

Before RONEY and KRAVITCH, Circuit Judges, and PITTMAN [*], district judge.

KRAVITCH, Circuit Judge:

In this age discrimination case filed pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-34, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of appellee-employer. The court held that appellant-employee failed to present evidence establishing he was treated differently on account of age from other employees who violated the same work rule. We affirm.

From April, 1964 to October, 1979, appellant Anderson was employed by Savage Laboratories, a sales organization engaged in the marketing and sale of pharmaceutical products, as a commissioned sales representative. His responsibilities were to make sales calls on health care professionals throughout parts of Alabama and Florida. Appellant resided in Montgomery, Alabama but spent much of his time on the road.

The incident precipitating appellant's termination occurred on September 13, 1979. On that day Mr. Folkenflik, appellant's supervisor, was in Montgomery, Alabama conducting interviews for a potential replacement for appellant. Savage assertedly had become dissatisfied with appellant's job performance but had not yet decided to terminate him. Appellant claims, however, that Savage was seeking to replace him because he was over the age of forty. Folkenflik chose to interview applicants in Montgomery on September 13 in order to avoid the possibility of meeting appellant, who had previously filed an itinerary indicating that on September 13 he would be in the Thomasville-Linden area of Alabama, approximately 125 miles from Montgomery. While in Montgomery, however, Folkenflik saw Anderson purely by chance; Anderson apparently did not see Folkenflik. In his Weekly Call Report and Summary Sheet for the week ending September 14, 1979, appellant represented that on September 13, he visited ten specified customers in Thomasville and Linden, Alabama. When confronted about the discrepancy between his weekly work reports and his being seen in Montgomery on September 13, appellant did not deny the falsification of the reports. Pursuant to its policy of terminating employees who falsify work reports, Savage asked appellant to resign, and when he refused to do so, terminated him.

Appellant filed this action in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, alleging that he was terminated in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Savage subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that appellant's admitted conduct showed that he was discharged for good cause, negating his claim of age discrimination. In support of its motion, Savage proffered affidavits showing that it had applied without exception its policy of discharging employees who falsify reports or permitting those employees to resign. 1 Appellant presented no evidence to the contrary. The district court granted summary judgment for Savage, concluding, inter alia, that there was no evidence appellant was treated differently from others caught falsifying records.

Appellant contends the district court erred in granting Savage's motion for summary judgment because appellee's evidence that appellant was terminated for cause does not operate to prevent appellant from proving that age was nonetheless a determinative factor in the termination decision. To make out a prima facie case of age discrimination, a plaintiff must demonstrate "facts sufficient for a reasonable jury to infer that discrimination has occurred." McCorstin v. United States Steel

Page 1224

Corp., 621 F.2d 749, 754 (5th Cir. 1980). 2 Such an inference...

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