SUSPICIOUS TIMING EVIDENCE OF
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 supervisor’s comments, and timing of
an employee’s termination. Id. In
this case, Defendant fired Plaintiff merely five days after he began
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.”).