The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission moved Monday to strike portions of the defense Kelley Drye & Warren has put forward in the agency's age discrimination suit against the firm. The motion comes in response to an answer Kelley Drye filed in the EEOC's action against the New York firm.
The EEOC in January sued claiming Kelley Drye's compensation practices discriminate against partners over 70 and that the firm retaliated against the de-equitized partner who complained, Eugene T. D'Ablemont, by slashing his 2008 bonus. Kelley Drye in April responded, arguing D'Ablemont and partners like him were not covered by federal employee protections.
Kelley Drye's answer said the EEOC's claims were barred by statute of limitations. The EEOC, in its motion Monday, moved to strike that defense, saying no such statute of limitation exists. The EEOC likewise said any allegation that D'Ablemont, in his role as a partner, had waived his right to sue Kelley Drye under a federal anti-discrimination statute does not stop the EEOC from bringing an action on his behalf.
The EEOC also moved to strike as "immaterial, impertinent or scandalous" allegations of misdeeds Kelley Drye made against D'Ablemont. The EEOC said the firm's claims that D'Ablemont had improperly obtained free legal services from the firm and had engaged in "objectionable behavior inconsistent" with Kelley Drye's expectations for partners were immaterial. Kelley Drye made the "scandalous" allegations in the well-publicized litigation "clearly intended to disparage Mr. D'Ablemont in the public eye," the EEOC said.
Kelley Drye's lawyer, Bettina B. Plevan of Proskauer Rose, did not respond to a request for comment. The case is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kelley Drye & Warren, 10 cv 0655.