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Dismissed bank manager’s case on age prejudice reintroduced



A bank’s retired, 64-year-old senior vice president provided sufficient evidence to survive a summary judgment dismissing his age discrimination case, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, overturning a lower court ruling and reinstating the dispute.

Larry Sears was hired by Salt Lake City-based Zion Bancorporation NA, which operates as Amegy Bank of Texas, as senior vice president in 2012, according to Thursday’s ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in Zions Bancorporation NA, formerly known as ZB NA, does business as Amegy Bank of Texas.

At the end of 2017, the bank began considering hiring a new manager for Mr. Sears’ lending group in Dallas and decided to eliminate one of the four senior vice presidential posts to make room in the budget of such a manager. sa.

A bank manager conducted an “informal ranking”

; and decided to eliminate the position of Mr Sears, who was the oldest of the four senior vice presidents in his group, the verdict said.

Mr Sears sued Amegy, claiming he had been fired because of his age. The U.S. District Court in Lubbock, Texas, upheld the bank’s summary judgment and dismissed the case.

It was set aside by a unanimous three-judge in the Court of Appeal. “Here, Sears has produced sufficient evidence to create a dispute over material facts regarding whether he was treated less favorably than younger and similar SVPS,” the verdict said.

“First, a jury could find” that Mr Sears and another, 31-year-old senior vice president were similar, it said, adding that Mr Sears testified to the fact that the other senior vice president performed almost identical tasks based on his resume.

“A jury was also able to establish that Sears was treated less favorably. Sears, the oldest SVP, was the only SVP selected for dismissal” and the other senior vice president “not only kept his job but was promoted”, it said.

The verdict said that Amegy “has put forward legitimate reasons for Sears’ dismissal”, including that it needed to make room in its budget for a new boss.

But “The fact that Amegy had abandoned his search for a new boss – the alleged driving force behind the sacking of Sears – just three months after his dismissal undermines the bank’s statement,” he said, reversing the lower court’s ruling and remanding the case for further proceedings.

Lawyers in the case did not respond to requests for comment.


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