SUSPICIOUS TIMING EVIDENCE OF PRETEXT

In Elder, Defendant terminated Plaintiff after he informed direct supervisor that he experienced kidney failure and needed a kidney transplant sometime in the future. 
Elder v. PDC Logic, LLC, CIV. A. H–16–966, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149231, at *3 (S.D. Tex.—Houston, August 15, 2017). Defendant relied on its Reduction–In–Force as a 
nondiscriminatory, legitimate reason to fire Plaintiff and provided testimony that Defendant planned to eliminate Plaintiff’s position well before notice of Plaintiff’s disability. Id. at *20. 

The Court in Elder held that evidence of pretext is shown where short temporal proximity could lead a jury to find that discriminatory animus exists between the date an employee 
notifies an employer of a disability, the supervisors comments, and timing of an employee’s termination. Id. In this case, Defendant fired Plaintiff merely five days after he began 
dialysis training, and where Plaintiff disclosed his disability one month before. Id. at *21.

“The Fifth Circuit [holds] that ‘the combination of suspicious timing with other significant evidence of pretext, 
can be sufficient to survive summary judgment.’  Evans v. City of Houston, 246 F.3d 344, 356 (5th Cir. 2001)
(quoting Shackelford v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP, 190 F.3d 398, 409 (5th Cir. 1999)).” Id; see also Desert Palace, 
Inc. v. Costa, 123 S. Ct. 2148, 2154 (2003) (“Circumstantial evidence is not only sufficient, but may also be 
more certain, satisfying and persuasive than direct evidence.”).



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