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Spengler v. Cylinders

June 16, 2006

JON SPENGLER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WORTHINGTON CYLINDERS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Algenon Marbley

Magistrate Judge Kemp

OPINION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant, Worthington Cylinders' ("WC") Motion to Dismiss Count II of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth herein, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED.

II. STATEMENT OF FACTS*fn1

A. Background

Plaintiff, Jon Spengler ("Plaintiff") is a fifty-four year old male residing in Ohio. Complaint ¶¶ 1, 5. Defendant WC ("Defendant") is a company Ohio corporation with a production facility in Franklin County, Ohio, where the following events took place. Id. ¶ 4.

On or about January 5, 2005, Defendant hired Plaintiff as a seasonal employee working full-time hours. Complaint ¶ 6. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant "typically promotes its better part-time employees to full time," and notes that this promotion process is initiated when a supervisor submits an employee's name and recommends him/her for an interview with management. Id. ¶ 7.

In November 2004, Defendant made its first set of full time promotions. Complaint ¶ 8. Though Plaintiff's name had been recommended for full time status at that time, Defendant did not promote him. Id. ¶ 7. Plaintiff asserts that his supervisor told him that he had an "excellent chance of promotion in the upcoming set of promotions." Id. ¶ 8. In January 2005, however, Plaintiff was, once again, not promoted. Id. ¶ 9.

Plaintiff alleges that shortly after he had been passed over, he learned that "another male from his area, approximately 30 years younger than him," was promoted, despite the fact that Plaintiff's job performance record was "significantly better." Complaint ¶ 10. Plaintiff then contacted the plant manager to determine "his chances for full time promotion," and the plant manager referred him to the pressroom supervisor. Id. ¶ 11. Plaintiff asserts that during his meeting with the pressroom supervisor, the supervisor told Plaintiff that his chances of promotion were slim because he would "have trouble keeping up with the younger employees." Id. The supervisor then allegedly asked Plaintiff if he would consider transferring to the steel division. Id.

Shortly after his meeting with the supervisor, Plaintiff contacted the plant manager via e-mail to complain about the supervisor's alleged age comment, and the two met on January 16, 2005 to discuss Plaintiff's complaint. Complaint ¶ 12. During their meeting, the plant manager indicated that the supervisor "denied making the statement." Id. When Plaintiff asked whether his age had been a factor in Defendant's decision not to promote him, the plant manager replied in the negative. Id.

Several weeks later, Plaintiff had still not had an interview with the steel division, and according to Plaintiff, his supervisor treated him differently, avoiding eye contact and not speaking. Id. ¶ 13. On February 8, 2005, Plaintiff was terminated. Id. His supervisor based the termination on alleged "undocumented derogatory comments made by co-workers regarding Plaintiff." Id. ¶ 14.

B. Procedural History

Plaintiff then filed a charge of age discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and received a right to sue letter. Complaint ¶ 16. Subsequently, on October 26, 2005, Plaintiff filed a complaint in federal court. Id. Count I of Plaintiff's complaint (the "Complaint") alleges age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq. Id. ¶¶ ...


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