requests to Loral's personnel department to "see if there [are other] opportunities" at Loral or one of its subsidiaries. Lanza Dep. at 41, PP 6-16.
Furthermore, the fact that the companies maintained the same benefits does not suggest centralized control of labor relations. The fact is that LES maintained its own personnel files, and LES's human resources manager worked solely for LES and "handled all of LES's personnel functions." Warner Dep. at 7, PP 7-9; 28, PP 2-11; 27, PP 19-21, 43, PP 13-21; Santoro Dep. at 15, PP 22-25; at 16, PP 2-4. Furthermore, "[a] parent's broad general policy statements regarding employment . . . are not enough." Frank, 3 F.3d at 1363. Given the facts of this case, plaintiff has not shown sufficient involvement by a parent to arise to the level of "necessary . . . participation . . . in the employment process." Cf. Cook, 69 F.3d at 1240.
3. Common Management
Third, Balut has not submitted evidence sufficient to show common management. As opposed to the cases previously discussed, the fact that Balut and others presented biannual reviews to Loral and discussed some issues on a weekly basis does not show "common management." This is no more than what a parent typically requires of a subsidiary. See, e.g., Frank, 3 F.3d at 1362. Furthermore, the evidence demonstrates that LES maintained a separate hierarchy, where only LES's president reported to Loral. See, e.g., id. ("Merely because project supervisors ultimately report to [the parent's] officers . . . is not enough . . . . this exercise of control [does] not . . . exceed the control normally exercised by a parent"). Cf. Kelber, 799 F. Supp. at 331 (parent and subsidiary separate for Title VII purposes even though high-level managers performed functions for both companies).
4. Common Ownership or Financial Control
Finally, beyond showing that LES was Loral's subsidiary, plaintiff does not allege -- nor submit any evidence indicating -- that Loral and LES were commonly owned. As previously stated, the mere fact of a parent-subsidiary relationship does not trigger liability. Murray, 74 F.3d at 404. There is no evidence indicating that Loral and LES were controlled by any one individual or group. Cf. Armbruster, 711 F.2d at 1338; Regan, 1995 WL 413249, at *4.
Because the integrated enterprise doctrine is reserved for the "exceptional" case, we decline to hold that Loral was Balut's employer. Balut has not adduced sufficient evidence to show that Loral's relationship with LES was "hands-on." Loral required no more of LES than what a parent typically expects of its subsidiary. Even if, in the light most favorable to Balut, the meetings between LES and Loral suggest common management or an interrelation of operations, the other evidence overwhelmingly supports the fact that virtually all other functions were separate, particularly the companies' labor relations. As previously stated, this last factor is the most indicative of an integrated enterprise in this circuit.
Since Loral was not Balut's employer, it may not be held liable for LES's treatment of Balut, and certainly not any alleged discrimination in laying off Balut. Thus, we dismiss the case against Loral.
III. Age Discrimination
There is another ground for dismissing the case against Loral. Even if Loral could be considered Balut's employer, Balut has failed to show age discrimination on the part of LES. Thus, Balut's case against both defendants must be dismissed.
The ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating in hiring, discharge, or the setting of "compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" by reason of an employee's age. 29 U.S.C. § 623(a)(1). Protection under the ADEA extends only to those individuals who are over forty-years-old. Id., § 631(a). ADEA claims are analyzed under the same framework as claims under Title VII. Raskin v. Wyatt Co., 125 F.3d 55, 60 (2d Cir. 1997) (citations omitted).
In order to establish a prima facie case of discrimination under the ADEA pursuant to a reduction in force, a plaintiff must show (1) that he was within the protected age group, (2) that he was qualified for the position at issue, (3) that he suffered an adverse employment decision, and (4) the discharge occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of age discrimination. Woroski v. Nashua Corp., 31 F.3d 105, 108 (2d Cir. 1994); Montana v. First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 869 F.2d 100, 104 (2d Cir. 1989).
This inference "may be shown by direct evidence, statistical evidence, or circumstantial evidence such as documentation of preference for younger employees." Taggart v. Time Inc., 924 F.2d 43, 46 (2d Cir. 1991). The burden of establishing a prima facie case "is not onerous." Fisher, 114 F.3d 1332 at 1335 (quoting Texas Dep't of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207, 101 S. Ct. 1089 (1981)).
If the plaintiff demonstrates a prima facie case, a presumption of discrimination arises, and the burden of production shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for terminating the plaintiff. St. Mary's Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502, 507, 125 L. Ed. 2d 407, 113 S. Ct. 2742 (1993). Any such reason will suffice; an employer "'need not persuade the court that it was actually motivated by the proffered reasons' in order to nullify the presumption and obligate the plaintiff to satisfy the burden of proof." Fisher, 114 F.3d at 1335-36 (quoting Burdine, 450 U.S. 248 at 254). If the employer satisfies its burden, any presumption of discrimination "simply drops out of the picture." Hicks, 509 U.S. at 510. The plaintiff may then prevail only if he can show by a preponderance of the evidence that the employer's proffered explanations are pretextual, "either because the pretext finding itself points to discrimination or because other evidence in the record points in that direction -- or both." Fisher, 114 F.2d at 1339. A plaintiff does not win merely by proving the asserted reason to be false; rather, an employer's proffered reason must be false and its real reason, unlawful. Hicks, 509 U.S. at 515-16; Fisher, 114 F.3d at 1338-39; Quaratino v. Tiffany & Co., 71 F.3d 58, 64 (2d Cir. 1995). In other words, the burden-shifting framework does not alter the fact that the plaintiff at all times bears the burden of persuading the trier of fact that the defendant unlawfully discriminated against him. Quaratino, 71 F.3d at 64. With the presumption no longer operating, "the question becomes the same question asked in any other civil case: Has the plaintiff shown, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant is liable for the alleged conduct?" Fisher, 114 F.3d at 1336.
A. Balut's Prima Facie Case
The parties do not contest that Balut was over forty years of age when he was laid off; that he was qualified for the position at issue and that he suffered an adverse employment decision. The parties do contest whether Balut's discharge occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination.
To show such inference, Balut offers a myriad of evidence. First, Balut points to a statement allegedly made by Browdy when he notified Balut of his termination. According to Balut:
When I was talking to Mr. Browdy, he mentioned that LES was also letting Mr. T.K. Lee go and referred to him as the older engineer with health problems that triggered me to think. Then [Browdy] said to me [that Lee] is happy that [LES was] letting him go because he'll be able to draw unemployment or whatever and get his severance pay, and [Browdy] said to me, 'Maybe you feel the same way.'"