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Supreme Court Issues “Opinion” on “Me Too” Evidence…Sort Of: Sprint v. Mendelsohn

Posted in Discrimination

In Sprint v. Mendelsohn, the U.S. Supreme Court held that admission of "me too" evidence in discrimination cases is fact based and "depends on many factors…." Plaintiff, who was 51 years old and the oldest employee in her department, was laid off during a company-wide reduction in force. She subsequently sued Sprint for disparate treatment based on her age under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
The district court excluded evidence from former employees over the age of 40 who were also terminated in the same RIF (the "me too" evidence) because they did not work in plaintiff’s group and they did not work for any of the same supervisors. The Tenth Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling as to the "me too" testimony and remanded the case for a new trial.
The Supreme Court granted certiorari on the issue of the admissibility of "me too" evidence. The Court held that whether evidence of discrimination by other supervisors is relevant in an individual ADEA case "is fact based and depends on many factors, including how closely related the evidence is to the plaintiff’s circumstances and theory of the case." They then remanded the case back down to the district court.