A 70-year-old salesman who claims he was fired and replaced by a man less than half his age cannot rely on his employer’s queries about whether he intended to retire and the new worker’s remarks that he had been hired to “replace” the older man, a federal judge has ruled.

“It is not unreasonable for an employer to ask an employee in his 70s if he is planning to retire,” Judge Juan R. Sanchez of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania wrote in his nine-page opinion in Folcher v. Appalachian Insulation Supply Inc.

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