Post-Dated Resignation Acceptance not Age Discrimination

March 17, 2006 ( - A woman who claimed her former employer discriminated against her because of her age by deliberately accepting her resignation six weeks before her pension vesting date has lost another step in her legal battle.

A federal appellate court ruled that the move by Computer Sciences Corp. to accept an e-mailed resignation by Maureen Leyva in mid-July 2002 rather than as of her vesting date of August 6, 2002 was not a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).  

The 3 rd  US Circuit Court of Appeals decision upheld an earlier ruling by US District Judge Kent Jordan of the US District Court for the District of Delaware. “An employer’s decision to accept a resignation immediately, rather than accepting an employee’s request that the resignation be effective at a future date, does not constitute an adverse employment action,” Jordan asserted in the lower court decision.

According to the appellate court, Leyva was told by a personnel official that she could date her resignation as of her pension vesting data but that the employer ended up giving the resignation immediate effect.

As its legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for Leyva’s departure, the employer noted Leyva’s difficult relationships with co-workers and her inability to transfer knowledge to other project members. The company also stated that the current project was moving into a “support” phase in which Leyva’s “development” skills no longer were needed.

The full opinion in Leyva v. Computer Scis. Corp., 3d Cir., No. 05-1622, unpublished 3/7/06 is   here .