Schuler v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (Age Discrimination)

By FindLaw Staff on February 16, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Today, the D.C. Circuit decided an appeal in an action brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and related statutes.

In Schuler v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, No. 08-7115, plaintiffs alleged that defendant accounting firm refused to make plaintiffs partners because of their ages, in violation of the ADEA and its District of Columbia and New York counterparts.  The district court granted summary judgment for defendant on the ADEA and D.C. law claims, and dismissed the New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL) claim on the ground that plaintiff did not reside in New York.

The court of appeals affirmed the judgment in part on the grounds that 1) plaintiff did not make out a claim under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (an amendment to the ADEA) because he failed to bring a claim involving "discrimination in compensation" and point to a "discriminatory compensation decision or other practice"; and 2) plaintiff failed to provide a basis upon which a reasonable jury could disbelieve defendant's primary explanation for not making him a partner, namely that he had received below-excellent performance ratings.

However, the court of appeals reversed the dismissal of the NYHRL claim, because plaintiff could state a claim under the NYHRL by alleging that a discriminatory act, in this case the adoption of a discriminatory promotion policy, occurred in New York.

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