West v. Fred Wright Const. Co., 83-5648

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore KEITH, Circuit Judge and PECK and BROWN; KEITH
Citation756 F.2d 31
Parties37 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 274, 36 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 35,071 Robert Lee WEST, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FRED WRIGHT CONSTRUCTION CO., Patten Construction Co., Inc., and Richard Thomas Patten, Defendants-Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 83-5648,83-5648
Decision Date28 February 1985

Page 31

756 F.2d 31
37 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 274,
36 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 35,071
Robert Lee WEST, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
FRED WRIGHT CONSTRUCTION CO., Patten Construction Co., Inc.,
and Richard Thomas Patten, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 83-5648.
United States Court of Appeals,
Sixth Circuit.
Argued Sept. 18, 1984.
Decided Feb. 28, 1985.

Page 32

John R. Bradley (argued), Portland, Tenn., for plaintiff-appellant.

Hugh C. Howser, Jr. (argued), Mary G. Moody, Edmund W. Turnley III, Howser, Thomas, Summers, Binkley & Archer, Nashville, Tenn., for defendants-appellees.

Before KEITH, Circuit Judge and PECK and BROWN, Senior Circuit Judges.

KEITH, Circuit Judge.

Appellant Robert West appeals the decision of the district court granting judgment to defendants Wright Construction Company, Patten Construction Company and Richard Patten on his claim of retaliatory discharge. Appellant began working for Wright Construction as a superintendent in 1974. In September 1979, appellant filed an age discrimination charge against the company. However, he withdrew the charge three months later in December 1979. Appellant was discharged from his job in April 1980. Immediately after his termination, appellant filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging that appellees fired him in retaliation for filing the prior age discrimination charge.

At trial, appellant argued that his discharge was retaliatory and in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 623(d) (ADEA). However, after considering the testimony of witnesses and the relevant documents, the trial judge determined that although appellant had established a prima facie case, appellant had failed to establish retaliation as the determining factor in his discharge. Specifically, the court found that: (1) the seven months between filing the charge and appellant's discharge was too long a period from which to infer retaliation; (2) the lack of work for appellant accounted in large part for his discharge; and (3) the company's efforts to place appellant elsewhere were inconsistent with a retaliatory motive.

On appeal, appellant contends that the trial court erred as a matter of law in its allocation of burdens of proof under McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973). Appellant also argues that the trial judge's finding of no retaliatory motive is contrary to the evidence. We affirm the district court judgment for the following reasons.

Page 33

In Laugesen v. Anaconda Co., 510 F.2d 307 (6th Cir.1975), this Court ruled that the similarity between the ADEA and Title VII did not mandate rigid application of the McDonnell Douglas guidelines establishing a prima facie case in a Title VII discriminatory hiring suit, to a discriminatory discharge suit under the ADEA. Id. at 312. Rather, this Circuit employs a flexible case by case incorporation of Title VII standards, adopting those standards which further the ADEA's distinct legislative purposes. See Blackwell v. Sun Electric Corporation, 696 F.2d 1176, 1179 (1983); Ackerman v. Diamond Shamrock, 670 F.2d 66, 70 (6th Cir.1982); Sahadi v. Reynolds Chemical, 636 F.2d 1116, 1117-19 (6th Cir.1980).

In Texas Department of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207 (1981), the...

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34 practice notes
  • Hines v. Ohio State University, 94CV01088.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • April 1, 1998
    ...retaliatory conduct under Title VII and the ADEA. Wrenn v. Gould, 808 F.2d 493, 500 (6th Cir.1987); West v. Fred Wright Construction Co., 756 F.2d 31 (6th Cir.1985). To establish a prima facie case of retaliation under Title VII or the ADEA, a Plaintiff must show the 1) engaged in a protect......
  • Stubl v. T.A. Systems, Inc., 96-75687.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • November 12, 1997
    ...as the reasons are legally sufficient to justify a judgment for Defendants. Cooley, 25 F.3d at 1329 (citing West v. Wright Constr. Co., 756 F.2d 31, 33 (6th 19. Furthermore, the Court is not even certain whether it is proper to entertain Mr. Stubl's affidavit, which was provided after Defen......
  • Wrenn v. Gould, s. 85-3285
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 9, 1987
    ...never be clear error." Id. 470 U.S. at 575, 105 S.Ct. at 1513, 84 L.Ed.2d at 529-30. See also West v. Fred Wright Construction Co., 756 F.2d 31 (6th Furthermore, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission finding "no probable cause" of discrimination should be accorded substantial weight, Cooper v. P......
  • Singletary v. District of Columbia, CIV.A.94-1419 EGS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • September 30, 2002
    ...finds that plaintiff has failed to show a causal connection with respect to defendants' 1993 conduct. See West v. Fred Wright Constr. Co., 756 F.2d 31, 32 (6th Cir.1985) (upholding district court decision that seven months between filing the administrative charge and appellant's discharge w......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • Hines v. Ohio State University, 94CV01088.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • April 1, 1998
    ...retaliatory conduct under Title VII and the ADEA. Wrenn v. Gould, 808 F.2d 493, 500 (6th Cir.1987); West v. Fred Wright Construction Co., 756 F.2d 31 (6th Cir.1985). To establish a prima facie case of retaliation under Title VII or the ADEA, a Plaintiff must show the 1) engaged in a protect......
  • Stubl v. T.A. Systems, Inc., 96-75687.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • November 12, 1997
    ...as the reasons are legally sufficient to justify a judgment for Defendants. Cooley, 25 F.3d at 1329 (citing West v. Wright Constr. Co., 756 F.2d 31, 33 (6th 19. Furthermore, the Court is not even certain whether it is proper to entertain Mr. Stubl's affidavit, which was provided after Defen......
  • Wrenn v. Gould, s. 85-3285
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 9, 1987
    ...never be clear error." Id. 470 U.S. at 575, 105 S.Ct. at 1513, 84 L.Ed.2d at 529-30. See also West v. Fred Wright Construction Co., 756 F.2d 31 (6th Furthermore, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission finding "no probable cause" of discrimination should be accorded substantial weight, Cooper v. P......
  • Singletary v. District of Columbia, CIV.A.94-1419 EGS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • September 30, 2002
    ...finds that plaintiff has failed to show a causal connection with respect to defendants' 1993 conduct. See West v. Fred Wright Constr. Co., 756 F.2d 31, 32 (6th Cir.1985) (upholding district court decision that seven months between filing the administrative charge and appellant's discharge w......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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