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Employment Discrimination – Age – Receptionist Duties

A 61-year-old African-American secretary for a nonprofit family services agency loses her age discrimination suit alleging she was replaced a younger white woman and asked to answer phones on a temporary basis, with the same pay and benefits, in this case from Roanoke U.S. District Court.

Plaintiff believes her supervisors intended for her reassignment to be permanent and an effort to force her to retire, and she believes they were motivated to discriminate against her on account of her age and race. Her personal beliefs and speculation, however, are no substitute for proof. Stripped of its speculation and personal belief, the complaint shows only this: she was performing satisfactorily, her supervisors asked her to work temporarily as a receptionist with no loss of pay or benefits because of a legitimate need, a younger white female was to cover for her temporarily and another employee that was approximately plaintiff’s age voluntarily resigned. These facts fall far short of raising a plausible claim for relief that discriminatory animus motivated an adverse employment action.

Summary judgment for defendant employer.

Williams v. Family Service of Roanoke Valley (Wilson, J.) No 7:09cv00227, Nov. 13, 2009; USDC at Roanoke, Va. VLW 009-3-634, 14 pp.

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