Appeals Court: Older Apartment Manager Not Fired Due to Age

December 15, 2004 ( - Julia Ann Glanzman may have had a legal leg to stand on when she filed an age discrimination suit after being told her boss wanted to hire a "young chippie" instead, but her former employer was still within bounds in firing her.

>The US 3 rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that US District Judge J. Curtis Joyner of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was correct when he dismissed Glanzman’s employment discrimination suit. The reason: Her former employer, Metropolitan Management Corp., had “overwhelming” evidence of the 67-year-old Glanzman’s misconduct including not reporting personal collect phone calls from her boyfriend in prison, not answering office pages in a timely manner and allegedly trying to steal an appliance from a rental apartment unit she managed at a 150-unit apartment complex outside of Philadelphia.

>Wrote Joyner in the lower-court opinion: “giving the plaintiff the benefit of all possible doubt that her age was a determinative factor in her termination, the defendant has adduced more than sufficient evidence that it would have terminated her regardless of age on the basis of her past infractions, her misconduct in directing maintenance men, leaving the premises without authorization during work hours, failing to timely respond to pages and on the company’s suspicion that she was trying to steal a new dishwasher.”

>In the case involving Glanzman, Senior Circuit Judge Ruggero Aldisert   wrote “Metropolitan met its burden of showing that it would have terminated her employment even if it had not considered her age and that Glanzman presented insufficient evidence to negate Metropolitan’s evidence.”

>The appeals judges also upheld Joyner’s ruling in a separate wrongful termination suit also against Metropolitan by Joseph Fries who charged his firing was retaliation for agreeing to testify on behalf of Glanzman in proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

>In the Fries matter, Aldisert wrote that he had not produced enough evidence to counteract his own admission that that he was fired because he refused to write a letter of apology for his wrongdoing, and not because of any “protected activity.”

>The opinion is at .