The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
August Arado ("Arado") charges General Fire Extinguisher
Corporation ("General") terminated him in violation of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621-634.
In addition to that Count I cause of action (captioned
"Age Discrimination Claim"), Arado's Complaint asserts two
unlabeled claims (Counts II and III), each of which realleges
(via incorporation by reference) all of Count I's 17 paragraphs
of allegations. General now moves under Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 56
for "partial" summary judgment as to Complaint Counts II and III
and portions of the prayer for relief in Count I. For the reasons
stated in this memorandum opinion and order, the motion is
granted in part and denied in part.
Complaint Count I ¶ 9 alleges General's President Harry Haulman
("Haulman") had announced in the summer of 1983 he was planning
a "youth movement" at General because he was dissatisfied with
the performance of older employees.*fn2 Haulman's strategy was to
harass older workers into resigning by either demoting them or
adding significantly to their workloads (id. ¶ 3). Arado asserts
he was given the work of two other employees in addition to his
own normal full-time duties (Arado Deposition ("Dep.") 48-50,
Arado met twice with Haulman in mid-August 1983 to explain the
new duties were impossibly burdensome and plead for assistance in
carrying them out (Dep. 49-57). Each time Haulman refused to
lighten Arado's load (Dep. 50, 56). At the first meeting Haulman
told Arado to "quit, quit, quit, quit" if he could not perform
all the functions (Dep. 50), and at the second meeting Haulman
threatened Arado with termination if Arado did not take on the
new duties within a week (Dep. 57).
In mid-September the dispute between Arado and Haulman
intensified when Arado took a vacation without making
arrangements for anyone to cover his duties (Dep. 75-76).
Finally, on October 4 Haulman told Arado "this couldn't go on any
longer" and terminated him, giving Arado his remaining vacation
pay and four weeks' severance pay (Dep. 80). Haulman also asked
Arado whether Arado wanted a letter of recommendation (id.).
Arado responded affirmatively and Haulman returned 15-20 minutes
later with the letter (Dep. 80-81), which read:
August Arado has worked with me for the past twelve
years. During that time, he has been Treasurer of the
company for the past five years. Unfortunately,
through cutbacks caused by present economic
conditions, we have had to eliminate his position.
I would particularly recommend Arado in the Cost
field, Inventory Control, and Lifo accounting. I
doubt if you will find anyone to match his expertise
in these fields.
Complaint Count I charges Arado was fired because of his age,
in violation of ADEA. It prays for actual, compensatory,
consequential and liquidated damages as well as attorneys' fees.
Count II charges General's award of only four weeks' severance
pay to Arado was an "intentional and willful" violation of
General's "standard practice" of awarding at least one week's pay
for each year of employment. Count III charges Haulman's letter
of recommendation is actually more harmful than helpful to Arado,
so that Arado has not been able to use it and has suffered a
"loss of his business reputation."
General seeks summary judgment as to Counts II and III. It also
asks for what it terms a "partial" summary judgment as to Count
I's prayers for ...