Heather Conniff argued on behalf of Paul Allen Wexler, a 53-year old male, who worked as a sales representative for Jensen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for 12 years. Wexler claimed that he was terminated due to age discrimination when after nearly 11 years of exceeding his quota and receiving numerous sales awards and trips, he was suddenly subjected to write-ups and performance improvement plans by his new younger supervisor, Jason Plumley, ultimately leading to his termination. Wexler produced evidence of write-ups based on purely subjective criticisms by Plumley that were laced with euphemisms for age, where he was told to “move away from the ‘traditional’ sales rep.” Wexler also produced several corroborating witness statements attesting that Plumley made ageist comments, including calling Wexler “outdated,” as well as that it appeared that Plumley was pushing Wexler out.
Despite the significant evidence on summary judgment showing at least a disputed issue of ageist pretext, the district court granted summary judgment. The Court of Appeal reviewed the case de novo.
Heather Conniff appeared on behalf of Wexler before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on February 7, 2018 seeking reversal of the district court’s order granting summary judgment. A video of her argument can be seen here:
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