Monday, September 17, 2012

Sheppard v. David Evans & Assocs. (9th Cir. - Sept. 12, 2012)

Does the following ADEA complaint -- reprinted in its entirety -- satisfy the detailed pleading requirements of Twombly and Iqbal:

1. Plaintiff, (Sheppard) is an adult female citizen in the federally protected age group under the ADEA, 29 USC 621 et seq. She is over the age of forty.
2. Defendant, (Evans) is an Oregon corporation that does business in Portland, Oregon.
3. Sheppard worked for Evans as an Executive Administrative Assistant from 11/28/05 to 2/2/09.
4. Sheppard was involuntarily terminated from her position by Evans.
5. At all material times her performance was satisfactory or better. She received consistently good performance reviews.
6. At the time of her termination there were five comparators employed by Evans in Oregon of which Sheppard was the oldest.
7. [Sheppard’s] younger comparators kept their jobs.
8. Age was a determining factor in the decision to terminate Shepard.
9. Prior to her termination, Sheppard requested Family Medical Leave for a serious illness. She qualified for both Oregon Family Medical Leave and federal Family Medical Leave.
10. In so doing Shepard was [pursuing] a right of public importance that belonged to her as an employee.
11. Sheppard was terminated immediately after she scheduled the surgery for which she requested Family Medical Leave.
12. [Sheppard’s]  attempt to use Family Medical Leave was a substantial motivating factor for her termination.
13. Sheppard was terminated because she pursued a right of public importance, Family Medical Leave,
that belonged to her as an employee.
14. Sheppard’s termination was therefore a wrongful act in violation of public policy under Oregon law.
15. [Sheppard] has met all administrative exhaustion requirements under the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act, and this complaint is timely filed.
16. As a result of her termination Sheppard lost and continues to lose wages and benefits.
17. As a result of her termination Sheppard suffered and continues to suffer emotional pain and a sense of

What do you think?

The Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Pregerson, holds that it does, reversing the district court's dismissal.

I'm not sure that Judge Pregerson is wrong as a normative matter.  But I am far from certain that the Supreme Court would agree.  Seems to me that the Court that decided Twombly and Iqbal might well require more than this.

But until the Supreme Court decides to grant certiorari (if it ever does), if you want to file a quick and easy ADEA complaint that you know for certain satisfies Rule 8, here you go.  Copy it (nearly) verbatim.  Easy enough.