Morrison Mahoney Partner Carole Lynch received a dismissal from a hearing officer following a 5-day public hearing at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). The hearing officer issued a 28-page decision dismissing the complaint alleging age discrimination and retaliation.
The claimant, a part-time police officer in a Central Massachusetts town, filed a complaint alleging that the Town and a former police chief discriminated against him on account of his age (DOB: 1961) when they did not hire him for 6 full-time police officer positions between 2005 and 2014. He alleged that after he was not hired twice, he complained of age discrimination. Afterward, he claimed that he was repeatedly retaliated against in that he was passed over for extra shifts and extra details and not hired for 4 more full-time positions. Following investigation, the MCAD found probable cause that there was sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable fact finder could believe that the claimant was subjected to age discrimination and retaliation. The MCAD received information that the claimant was “buried” whenever he spoke up for himself and that statements were made by a police chief and other supervisors involved in the hiring processes that claimant was too old to be hired. In each case individuals much younger than the claimant were hired.
In her decision, the hearing officer found that claimant established a prima facie case of age discrimination and retaliation at the hearing. However, she concluded that the Town and the Police Chief produced credible evidence to support legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the employment decisions.