Tenth Circuit: Excluding Witness Testimony of Other Employees who Made Ageist Remarks Permissible

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Mendelsohn v. Sprint/United Management Company that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded testimony of witnesses who claimed to hear ageist remarks before a RIF that included the plaintiff. The court reasoned that because the plaintiff alleged only that her RIF was inconsistent with the RIF criteria and not that the RIF was inherently discriminatory, what other employees reported that supervisors said who were not in the plaintiff's supervisory chain was irrelevant to whether she suffered discrimination. Accordingly, the Tenth Circuit ruled that the district court's exclusion of the witness testimony was appropriate. An earlier appeal in the case made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. This decision came to the Tenth Circuit after it had been remanded back to the district court.