that the age of an employee was a causal factor in his discharge from the CQG.
To make clear what is lacking in plaintiff's argument, we examine in turn some possible reasons that defendant could have been discriminated against because of his age. First, there may be a tacit desire to eliminate older employees, with longer years of service to reduce the wages, salaries, or pension benefits to be paid. See White v. Westinghouse Electric Company, 862 F.2d 56 (3d Cir. 1988). This causal link does not apply here; the workers discharged from the CQG, including plaintiff, were neither the highest paid nor had the longest years of service.
This particularly is the case with plaintiff, with by far the fewest years of service (a factor, incidentally, identified by Ralph Barra as making plaintiff less desireable due to his lesser experience) in the CQG. It is also reasonable to suggest that age discrimination would result from a stereotyping of older workers as less productive, see 29 U.S.C. § 621(a)(1), and therefore more expendable in business operations. Yet individualized assessment of productivity was undertaken by Barra as a specific, although not dispositive, factor, most notably in the evaluations of Welch and of plaintiff. Further, the discharge evaluations were consistent with the plaintiff's evaluations from prior years. Cf. Healy, supra, 860 F.2d 1209, slip opinion at 13-14.
A plaintiff-nonmovant facing summary judgment in an age discrimination suit wherein defendant has demonstrated that the plaintiff's discharge was due to articulated, nondiscriminatory standards must produce counter-affidavits, or other evidence to demonstrate that there is a reason to disbelieve the explanation given for discharge, or there is no disputed issue of material fact. Healy, supra, 860 F.2d 2109, slip opinion at 15. Simply asserting that the reasons are pretext does not bear the burden of either showing that a discriminatory reason more likely motivated the employer, or that the explanation given is unworthy of belief. See Chipollini, supra, 814 F.2d at 900.
As we have stated, plaintiff has not shown that the nondiscriminatory reasons given are not credible. To the extent that plaintiff suggests that Barra's testimony in this regard is not credible, because of hidden personal animus (Plaintiff's Response, Paragraph 14), plaintiff ignores two facts. One is Barra's suggested retention of either Carter or Welch upon his retirement, which followed the August 1985 layoffs by only weeks. (Id., Paragraph 2; Barra deposition, 5, 12).
Secondly, the reason advanced by plaintiff for Barra's lack of credibility, i.e., his professional jealousy, would require us to believe Barra's motives in recommending plaintiff's discharge were not the non-discriminatory ones demonstrated by defendant, but rather ones which are less praiseworthy, but similarly beyond the scope of the ADEA. See Chipollini, supra, 814 F.2d at 903 (Hunter, J., dissenting); White v. Vathally, 732 F.2d 1037, 1042-43 (1st Cir. 1984). Whether we accept Barra's testimony as entirely truthful or whether we accept plaintiff's position that Barra was jealous, there is no evidence whatsoever for plaintiff's contention that age was a factor in his employment or in his discharge.
An appropriate order will be entered.
AND NOW, this 5th day of December, 1988, it is hereby
ORDERED that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.