An employer hit with an age discrimination lawsuit in the wake of a companywide layoff is not entitled to summary judgment — even if it offers several “age neutral” reasons for the decision — if the plaintiff is able to point to “implausibilities and inconsistencies” among those reasons, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

The 2-1 ruling in Tomasso v. The Boeing Co. is an important victory for plaintiffs because it charts a course for surviving summary judgment in a traditionally difficult sector of employment discrimination claims stemming from a “reduction in force,” or RIF.

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