I find that installing the plaintiff as the FOM in Peoria is the only remedy which will make him whole. Moreover, the egregious facts of this case fully warrant such a result. Finally, bumping is not terribly Draconian to the incumbent because the defendant has the ability -- which I hope it will use -- to make appropriate provisions for this "innocent" bystander.
Age discrimination is invidious. When it is present, it has a very devastating effect on both the discriminatee and the organization for which he works. As to the discriminatee: there is nothing that can destroy a person's self-esteem and dignity more than the decision to freeze him in his employment position for his remaining working years. He is simply thrown on a human trash heap with little chance or opportunity to attain whatever modest goals he may have. The employer also suffers, though, since it must now contend with a dispirited and unmotivated member of the work force and since it has set a terrible example for its other employees.
What makes age discrimination even more invidious is that it is extremely difficult to detect. Because of the law against age discrimination, the employer is prevented from candidly telling the discriminatee that he or she has been passed over because of age and that there is little hope for advancement. Instead, the employer generally offers some (easy to find) reason why a younger employee might be considered better qualified than an older one. Nonetheless, in this case as in others, people are able to see through the pretext -- to read the writing on the wall -- and because of the governing statutes, they are able to do something about it.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of an individual's age. The case law -- discussed at Sections II-III(A), supra -- sets forth the requirements that must be met in order for a plaintiff to prevail in an age discrimination case. I conclude that the plaintiff has sustained his burden and that the defendant is guilty of age discrimination. I further conclude that the only adequate remedy to make the plaintiff whole is to award him the position of Field Office Manager in Peoria, Illinois, and to give him the enhanced monetary emoluments of the position from the date the new FOM was selected for the Peoria position.
This Memorandum Opinion is adopted as my findings of fact and conclusions of law, Fed.R. Civ.P. 52(a), and is accompanied by an appropriate Order, which shall be carried out within thirty (30) days.
Dated May 12, 1987.
For the reasons stated in the Memorandum Opinion dated May 12, 1987, it is this 12 day of May, 1987, hereby
ORDERED that judgment be entered for the plaintiff and against the defendant and further
ORDERED that the defendant shall appoint plaintiff Richard Miller to be the Field Office Manager of the Department of Agriculture's Peoria, Illinois Field Office within thirty (30) days, and further
ORDERED that the defendant shall pay to plaintiff back pay from the date of the appointment of the present incumbent to the Peoria Field Office Manager's position.