For some reason, the Second Circuit does not publish many of its employment discrimination cases, even when it overturns the ruling of a district court on summary judgment. That doesn't mean we should ignore the unpublished decisions. If discrimination cases are your bread and butter, it's still worth noting how the Court of Appeals views these cases.
This time around its Carras v. MGS 782 Lex, Inc., 2008 WL 5273278 (2d Cir. Dec. 19. 2008), where the Second Circuit reinstated an age discrimination claim. The 62 year-old plaintiff was fired from his job as Chief Financial Officer of a shoe importing company. The defendant argued that plaintiff was fired for cost-cutting reasons. The district court thought the jury could only find that cost-cutting was the real reason, not the plaintiff's age. But the plaintiff produced evidence that he was willing to work for a lower salary and that the corporate vice president repeatedly told the president that plaintiff was too old and that the president capitulated to the vice president's wishes that plaintiff be terminated. Management had also openly joked about plaintiff's age on several occasions. Plaintiff was also replaced by a 26 year-old.
In crediting the company's financial justifications for terminating the plaintiff, the Court of Appeals held, the trial court weighed the evidence, a task for the jury, not a court on a motion for summary judgment.