The lapse of seven years between the hiring and firing of a plaintiff in an age discrimination case significantly weakens the “same actor inference,” under which evidence of discrimination is less persuasive if the same person both hired and fired the alleged victim, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held Jan. 28 (Carlton v. Mystic Transp. Inc., 2d Cir., No. 98-7973, 1/28/00).

Charles R. Carlton sued his former employers, Mystic Transportation Inc. and Mystic Bulk Carriers Inc., and their president and sole shareholder, Leonard Baldari, after he was discharged as director of marketing in 1995. Carlton claimed that his firing was in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and parallel New York statutes.