A Maryland man’s age and disability discrimination claim against a Chevy Chase technology firm was shot down by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a 3-0 decision, the court ruled against Jay Lawrence Halperin of Rockville in his suit against Abacus Technology Corp.
Abacus hired Halperin in 1992 to work on a computer contract for the General Services Administration. On May 31, 1994, Halperin hurt his back when trying to lift a computer at work.
While he was able to work for much of the time between June and November, he took extended leave on Nov. 3 due to pain from his injury. He was fired in January.
The age discrimination claim was based on the fact that Abacus hired a younger worker shortly after Halperin was fired to do a similar job.
But Abacus attorney Gary Howard Simpson lawyers said Halperin was dismissed because his project had ended. “When you lose a contract you lose some people,” he said.
Simpson also said “there wasn’t a big age difference” between Halperin and the person who was later hired. Halperin was 48 and the new worker was 36, according to court papers.
Simpson also said the new job was a marketing position. Halperin, a high-technology expert, would not have been competitive for that post, he said.
Halperin’s disability case was based on his claim that Abacus did not want to make accommodations to allow him to work after his back injury.
But Judge Karen J. Williams wrote that “Halperin’s testimony regarding his ability to return to work is inconsistent.”
Halperin claimed in a deposition that he would not be able to return to work for five months after his January 1995 dismissal.
However, in a sworn affidavit taken as part of pre-trial motions, Halperin said he was “ready and willing to work” right away.
The court’s ruling upholds the findings of U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte.
Halperin’s attorney, Washington lawyer Alan Banov, was out of the office Thursday and could not be reached for comment.
Halperin’s last appeal would be to the Supreme Court.