United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
KAREN J. MCINTOSH PLAINTIFF
COUNTRY CLUB OF LITTLE ROCK; and JUDITH M. REEVES a/k/a JODI REEVES DEFENDANTS
Marshall Jr. United States District Judge.
Mclntosh worked in the Country Club of Little Rock's
accounting department for more than seven years. In 2016, the
Country Club fired her. She was sixty-three years old. Jodi
Reeves, her supervisor, says she fired Mclntosh because her
computer skills weren't advanced enough for the new
accounting software the Country Club was adopting. Mclntosh
says she was fired because of her age, contrary to federal
law. She also makes two related claims under Arkansas law.
The Court considers the facts, where genuinely disputed, in
the light most favorable to Mclntosh. Woods v.
DaimlerChrysler Corporation, 409 F.3d 984, 990 (8th Cir.
no direct evidence of age discrimination. The familiar
McDonnell Douglas burden shifting framework
therefore applies. Mclntosh has established a prima
facie case of discrimination. Torgerson v. City of
Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1046 (8th Cir. 2011) (en
banc). For its part, the Country Club has articulated a
legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for firing Mclntosh -her
lack of computer skills. No 17-1 at 36. Mclntosh must
therefore present evidence that "creates a fact issue as
to whether the [Country Club's] proffered reasons are
pretextuar and raises "a reasonable inference that age
was a determinative factor in the adverse employment
decision/ Tusing v. Des Moines Independent Community
School District, 639 F.3d 507, 516 (8th Cir. 2011)
hasn't carried this burden. She acknowledges she
didn't have the database skills required to operate the
new software, but says the Country Club's decision to
fire rather than train her is evidence of age discrimination.
The ADEA doesn't obligate the Country Club to train an
unqualified employee, though. And Mclntosh's replacement
was fifty-six years old and had the necessary computer
skills. No 19 at 6.
points to the many glowing commendations and bonuses she
received over the years from the Country Club as proof of
pretext. No 24-2. These awards, however, don't show that
she was fired because of her age and not her lack of computer
skills. Mclntosh also says that Reeves was jealous that she
was financially comfortable and able to retire. An
employer's consideration of an employee's retirement
eligibility might allow a reasonable inference of age
discrimination. Hilde v. City of Eveleth, 777 F.3d
998, 1006 (8th Cir. 2015). But Mclntosh hasn't presented
any evidence that Reeves or the Country Club considered her
finances when deciding to fire her.
has been no shifting explanation, either. The Country Club
has consistently stated its reason for firing Mclntosh - her
inadequate computer skills. The record contains several minor
disciplinary write-ups, No 17-1 at 30-34, but the Country
Club hasn't said that it fired Mclntosh for these
also points to the Country Club's treatment of other
older employees as evidence of age discrimination. She says
the Country Club fired four other older employees. But
there's no evidence that these employees were fired
because of their age. It's true that, a year before
Mclntosh was fired, Reeves expressed surprise that the
Country Club hired an older woman as banquet director. Reeves
said, "She's old. She's fifty-seven." No 26
at 6. This was a stray remark, unrelated to the process of
firing Mclntosh. Bone v. G4S Youth Services, LLC,
686 F.3d 948, 954 (8th Cir. 2012).
ADEA requires evidence that age was the but-for cause of the
firing decision. Tusing, 639 F.3d at 516. Mclntosh
hasn't presented enough evidence for a jury to conclude
that it was.
also brings two state-law claims about her termination: false
imprisonment and outrage. There are no genuinely disputed
material facts. And these claims fail as a matter of law.
says she was falsely imprisoned during the meeting when she
was fired. This tort requires an "express or implied
threat of force whereby one is deprived of his liberty or
compelled to go where one does not wish to go/'
Limited Stores, Inc. v. Wilson-Robinson, 317 Ark.
80, 83, 876 S.W.2d 248, 250 (1994). Mclntosh freely went to
Reeves's office when asked; she wasn't forced to go.
The Court understands that she was concerned about losing
severance pay or being seen as insubordinate. Those concerns,
however, don't amount to the force the law requires.
Reeves's office door was locked from the inside during
the meeting, and the Country Club's general manager was
seated in a chair by the locked door. But Mclntosh was free
to leave. She did leave after she was fired.
outrageous occurred. This tort requires extreme and
outrageous conduct beyond all possible bounds of decency.
Faulkner v. Arkansas Children's Hospital, 347
Ark. 941, 957, 69 S.W.3d 393, 403-04 (2002). Mclntosh says
that Reeves shouted insults at her after she was fired. While
these words offended Mclntosh, they aren't beyond all
bounds of decency. Mclntosh sought medical care after she was
fired. No 26 at 8. But, she hasn't shown that
Reeves's insults caused her emotional distress so severe
that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.
Faulkner, 347 Ark. at 957.
motion for summary judgment, No 16, is granted.
Mclntosh's complaint ...