United States District Court, W.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
FRANK P. GERACI JR. Chief Judge United States District Court
Serafino Cardinali alleges that his former employer, the
County of Monroe ("Defendant"), unlawfully
discriminated against him by forcing him to retire early.
Specifically, Plaintiff argues that Defendant violated the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29
U.S.C. § 621 et seq., when it eliminated his
job as an associate engineer for the County's Department
of Environmental Services ("DES"). ECF No. 1.
Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. ECF No. 22. For the reasons stated below,
the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.
worked for 20 years as an associate engineer for the Monroe
County DES in the Engineering and Facilities Division. ECF
No. 16. In 2012, Plaintiff told his supervisor Jason Kennedy
that he planned to retire in December 2013. ECF No. 22-10 at
11; ECF No. 22-8 at 15.
Chief of the Department's Engineering and Facilities
Division, Mr. Kennedy was in charge of the Division's
budgeting efforts. ECF No. 22-15 at 1; ECF No. 22-9 at 8.
Relying on Plaintiffs expressed retirement plans to Mr.
Kennedy, Defendant eliminated funding for Plaintiffs position
in the 2014 DES budget. ECF No. 22-8 at 27.
then had a change of heart, and in the fall of 2013,
expressed to Mr. Kennedy his desire to postpone his
retirement to 2014 for financial reasons. ECF No. 22-8 at 27.
Mr. Kennedy informed Plaintiff that postponing his retirement
would not be possible, as DES could no longer fund Plaintiffs
position in 2014. Id. Mr. Kennedy allegedly informed
Plaintiff that he had the right to partake in "bumping,
" a process through which Plaintiff could take the job
of a less senior associate engineer. ECF No. 22-15 at 3.
Specifically, Plaintiff could "bump" David Cross, a
younger and less experienced associate engineer. Id.
Plaintiff, on the other hand, says that Mr. Kennedy
discouraged him from exercising his bumping rights. ECF No.
22-8 at 28. Against his wishes, Plaintiff retired from his
position in December of 2013. Id. at 11. After
Plaintiffs retirement, his former coworkers Irving Murph, who
is approximately Plaintiffs age, and Donald Irvine, who is
roughly ten years younger than Plaintiff, assumed his duties.
ECF No. 22-17 at 11.
suspects that his supervisors' true motives for defunding
his position were not innocuous or merely budgetary. In his
deposition, he posits numerous theories about why Defendant
actually terminated him: his superiors at the County
"didn't trust" him because he reported them to
government investigators "for soliciting funds for the
Monroe County Republican Party, " they thought he was
"too tough" in enforcing the building code for
particular projects, they "just didn't like"
his personality, they did not like that he would not stay at
work "after 5 o'clock, " they were upset when
he stopped contributing to the annual office holiday party,
and they were angry that he refused to watch one of his
supervisors perform in a band. ECF. 22-8 at 36-38, 54, 61-68,
73-75, 77-80. Plaintiff believes that his bosses were most
upset about his unwillingness to contribute to the Monroe
County Republican Party and his communications with
government investigators on that matter.
II. Procedural History
September 23, 2014, Plaintiff sued Defendant under the ADEA,
the New York State Civil Service Law §107, Executive law
§296 and §297, and Rule XXVII of the Monroe County
Civil Service Commission, for employment discrimination based
upon age and in retaliation for Plaintiffs refusal to
contribute money to a political party, and for reporting
requests for monetary contributions to a political party. ECF
March 4, 2015, Defendant moved for judgment on the pleadings
on the basis that Plaintiff could not establish a, prima
facie case of age discrimination under the ADEA, and
that Plaintiffs state law claims were both meritless and
failed to comply with the procedure mandated by New York
County Law § 52. ECF No. 13. This Court dismissed
Plaintiffs state law claims as procedurally barred, but
denied Defendant's motion with respect to Plaintiffs ADEA
claim. ECF No. 18.
April 27, 2017, Defendant moved for summary judgment on
Plaintiffs surviving ADEA claim. ECF No. 22. Defendant argues
that Plaintiff failed to present facts showing that ...