The Seventh Circuit reversed the District Court in Mullin v. Temco Machinery, Inc., No. 13-1338, in favor of the employee. (October 10, 2013).
The District Court had granted the employer Temco’s motion for summary judgment in the ADEA action. The employee Mullin claimed that Temco fired him from his fire-truck salesman job because of his age, 56 years old.
The Seventh Circuit explained that the record contained a triable issue regarding the actual reason for the employee's termination where the record showed:
1. Temco had recently terminated another 50-year-old salesman and replaced him with younger employee;
2. Temco's initial explanation that Mullin, who was top selling salesman, was too expensive to employ was contradicted by fact that the employer replaced Mullin with two younger, inexperienced employees at little cost savings
3. A factual dispute existed as to whether Mullin actually failed to show up to work, leaving several visitors to wander around the plant unsupervised. While his supervisor said that was the case, the visitors each gave depositions confirming that Mullin was with them at all times and gave them a good tour; and
4. The record did not support Temco's claim that Mullin was underperforming in terms of sales at time he was fired.