Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

McNeil v. Econs. Lab.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

February 13, 1986, Argued ; August 27, 1986, Decided ; August 29, 1986, Filed

Nos. 85-1332, 85-1398

Opinion

 [*113]  CUDAHY, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff John McNeil brought an action pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (the "ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., against his employer, Economics Laboratory, Inc., for his discharge from employment. The district court, in a bench trial, granted judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $88,000, plus costs and attorney's fees. The defendant appeals and plaintiff cross appeals. We affirm.

In 1949 McNeil began working for Klenzade-New York, a company that specialized in the production and sale of sanitation chemicals and equipment for the dairy, beverage and food industries. In 1962 Economics Laboratory purchased [**2]  Klenzade-New York. McNeil continued to work for Klenzade as manager of Klenzade's New England Division. In 1966 McNeil was transferred from this position to the position of Eastern Area Sales Manager for the Klenzade Division. In this position he managed a sales staff that sold chemical cleaning compounds to various industries. In 1972 McNeil became the Assistant Vice President and Sales Manager of the Engineering Division. There was some evidence of friction between McNeil and his co-workers, but the district court found that his personnel file contains only favorable performance appraisals. Dist. Ct. Order at 11. Plaintiff underwent treatment at an alcoholism treatment center in 1978, apparently as a result of pressure by his  [*114]  superiors. After his completion of the rehabilitation program, McNeil was given the position of Assistant Vice President-Original Equipment Manufacturer Sales Manager for the Equipment Engineering Department of the Klenzade Division. In this position he sold cleaning systems to third party distributors of Klenzade equipment.

At the time of plaintiff's discharge he was supervised by James Watson, who reported to Robert Sistowicz, who in turn reported [**3]  to Henry Snyder. Synder testified that in January 1981 he was instructed by his superior to reduce expenses as part of a corporation-wide expense reduction effort. Snyder claims to have directed Richard Rintelmann, Vice President of Marketing for the Klenzade Division, to make recommendations for the expense reduction. Rintelmann later recommended that eleven positions be eliminated, including plaintiff's. Snyder adopted Rintelmann's recommendation that McNeil be terminated. McNeil was sixty-one at the time of his discharge. McNeil's duties were taken over by Robert Price and Watson.

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

800 F.2d 111 *; 1986 U.S. App. LEXIS 29174 **; 41 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1789; 41 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P36,492

JOHN W. McNEIL, Plaintiff-Appellee, Cross-Appellant v. ECONOMICS LABORATORY, INC., Defendant-Appellant, Cross-Appellee

Prior History:  [**1]   Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division, No. 81 C 20150 - Stanley J. Roszkowski, Judge.

Disposition:  AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

district court, front pay, comments, termination, age discrimination, positions, prima facie case, discriminate, training, defendant argues, reinstatement, Chemical, reduction in force, clearly erroneous, discharged, employees, damages, willful, argues, sales

Labor & Employment Law, Age Discrimination, Discriminatory Employment Practices, Discharges & Failures to Hire, Discrimination, General Overview, Scope & Definitions, Business & Corporate Compliance, ADEA Enforcement, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Burdens of Production, Defenses, Reductions in Force, Remedies, Damages, Liquidated Damages, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, Backpay & Frontpay, Injunctions, Compelled Employment, Wrongful Termination, Reinstatement, Abuse of Discretion