Court Rules for Trial in Age Discrimination Case

June 26, 2006 ( - The US District Court for the Northern District of Texas has determined that the case of a 60-year-old who was reprimanded and fired for his role in a work project, for which younger project participants were not fired, should be heard by a jury. reports that, in Taylor v. Brinker International, the court found that the fact Max Taylor was fired when the other project participants were not, along with an inexplicable bad performance review following previous “outstanding” reviews provided evidence that Taylor was fired due to his age.

Brinker, who owns restaurant chains including Chili’s and Macaroni Grill, said that Taylor was fired because of poor performance, which lead to a bad review, according to However, Taylor showed that the employer’s reasons were pretextual, saying there was insufficient evidence to support the negative performance review, and without such evidence, a jury could decide that the substantial drop in review ratings from one year to the next was evidence of pretext.

Additionally, the court said the fact that all project participants were reprimanded for their project presentation, but Taylor was the only one fired, could also be construed as pretextual. The court denied Brinker’s motion for summary judgment.