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Case Name Hodczak v. Latrobe Specialty Steel Company EE-PA-0238
Docket / Court 08-649 ( W.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On May 13, 2007, the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the Western District of Pennsylvania against Latrobe Specialty Steel Company. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought injunctive relief and damages on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated claiming that Latrobe ... read more >
On May 13, 2007, the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in the Western District of Pennsylvania against Latrobe Specialty Steel Company. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought injunctive relief and damages on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated claiming that Latrobe violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621.

The plaintiffs alleged that Latrobe engaged in practices that discriminated against its older work force in conducting terminations and forced retirements over an extended period time. The four plaintiffs named in the complaint are all over the age of fifty and had worked at Latrobe for a number of years. They were all terminated after sending and receiving inappropriate material on their Latrobe email accounts, and were replaced by younger employees. The plaintiffs claimed that they suffered disparate treatment under the ADEA in that Latrobe's stated justifications for terminating the plaintiffs were a pretext for willful age discrimination, as well as disparate impact under the ADEA, because Latrobe favored younger employees and targeted older ones in deciding who would be terminated following the discovery of the emails. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the second claim regarding disparate impact on June 17, 2008.

The court denied the defendant's motions for summary judgment on March 31, 2009, and April 23, 2009. The court then granted the defendant's motions to exclude any claims under the ADEA that accrued before May 17, 2007.

Latrobe contended that it was entitled to summary judgment because the plaintiffs were unable to show any evidence that age was a determinative factor in its decision to terminate their employment. Latrobe conceded that the plaintiffs established a prima facie case of discrimination, but maintained that their decision to terminate the plaintiffs was based on their violations of Latrobe policy. The court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that "but for" their ages, Latrobe would not have terminated their employment for sending sexually explicit and pornographic emails. Additionally, the plaintiffs admitted that they sent the emails and could not dispute that doing so violated Latrobe's policies.

On December 29, 2010, the Court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted and dismissed the collective action claims. 761 F.Supp.2d 261 (W.D. Penn. 2010). The plaintiffs appealed this order.

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the Western District of Pennsylvania's holding on November 17, 2011. The Third Circuit held that a reasonable jury could not find that the plaintiffs would not have been fired but for their ages. Additionally, given the conduct in which the plaintiffs engaged and the lack of sufficient evidence suggesting an atmosphere of age discrimination at Latrobe, there was no basis for a finding that Latrobe's proffered rationale was a pretext for age discrimination. 451 F. App'x 238 (3d Cir. 2011). The plaintiffs were subsequently taxed $21,863.88 in favor of the defendant.

Anna Jones - 10/25/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discipline
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.
Defendant(s) Latrobe Specialty Steel Company
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs, all over fifty, are former employees of Latrobe.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Microsoft Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit
Date: Oct. 14, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Age Discrimination Class Action seeks Fair Employment for Older PwC Applicants
http://www.pwcagecase.com/
Date: Apr. 27, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Smith Barney Gender Discrimination
https://www.lieffcabraser.com/employment/smith-barney/
Date: August 2008
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Date: Mar. 1, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:08−cv−00649 (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/26/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Collective Action Complaint [ECF# 645]
EE-PA-0238-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Partial Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 9]
EE-PA-0238-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/04/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Brief in Support of Partial Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 10] (2008 WL 2977026)
EE-PA-0238-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/04/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Count II of Plaintiffs' Complaint [ECF# 14]
EE-PA-0238-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/16/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on All Collective Action Claims [ECF# 15] (2008 WL 4524448)
EE-PA-0238-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/30/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation [ECF# 57]
EE-PA-0238-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/23/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation [ECF# 64]
EE-PA-0238-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/09/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 67] (2009 WL 911224) (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/31/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 68] (2009 WL 911311) (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/31/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Order [ECF# 69] (M.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Order [ECF# 70] (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 76] (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 132-1] (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 132]
EE-PA-0238-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order [ECF# 168] (2010 WL 3927510) (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/05/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 187] (761 F.Supp.2d 261) (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/29/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 188] (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/29/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 189] (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/29/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment [Ct. of App. ECF# 194]
EE-PA-0238-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/17/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion of the Court [Ct. of App. ECF# 199-2] (451 Fed.Appx. 238)
EE-PA-0238-0021.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/17/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Taxation of Costs [ECF# 201]
EE-PA-0238-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/26/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Fisher, D. Michael (Third Circuit)
EE-PA-0238-0019 | EE-PA-0238-0021
Hay, Amy R. (W.D. Pa.) [Magistrate]
EE-PA-0238-0008 | EE-PA-0238-0009 | EE-PA-0238-0013 | EE-PA-0238-9000
McVerry, Terrence F. (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0238-0006 | EE-PA-0238-0007 | EE-PA-0238-0010 | EE-PA-0238-0011 | EE-PA-0238-0012 | EE-PA-0238-0013 | EE-PA-0238-0015 | EE-PA-0238-0016 | EE-PA-0238-0017 | EE-PA-0238-0018 | EE-PA-0238-9000
Roth, Jane Richards (D. Del., Third Circuit)
EE-PA-0238-0019 | EE-PA-0238-0021
Vanaskie, Thomas Ignatius (M.D. Pa., Third Circuit)
EE-PA-0238-0019 | EE-PA-0238-0021
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fabian, Rudy A. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0238-0001 | EE-PA-0238-0004 | EE-PA-0238-9000
Fox, Bruce C. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0238-0001 | EE-PA-0238-0004 | EE-PA-0238-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Evans, Melissa L. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0238-9000
Giotto, Thomas S. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0238-0002 | EE-PA-0238-0003 | EE-PA-0238-0005 | EE-PA-0238-0014 | EE-PA-0238-9000
Hornak, Mark Raymond (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0238-0014 | EE-PA-0238-9000
McLaughlin, Erin J. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0238-9000
Quinn, Joseph M. (California)
EE-PA-0238-0002 | EE-PA-0238-0003 | EE-PA-0238-0005 | EE-PA-0238-0014 | EE-PA-0238-9000
Tuite, Jaime S. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0238-0002 | EE-PA-0238-0003 | EE-PA-0238-0005 | EE-PA-0238-9000

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