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The Fired Airline Agent

Was she considered too old—or simply too rude?

The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit explained that under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, an employer cannot fire someone because of age. To get her job back, Riggs had to prove that at least part of the motivation for her firing was because of her age.

The court accepted that Dolieslager made statements and took actions related to Riggs’ age. But the court said that Riggs failed to show that Dolieslager’s actions, like helping Riggs pick up luggage, were in any way tied to Riggs’ firing. Without direct evidence of discrimination, the court refused to infer that AirTran was treating Riggs differently because of her age.

Doris Riggs did not get her job back.

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