Zippittelli v. J.C. Penney Company
Professor Laura Hansen-Brown
August 23, 2012
ZIPPITTELLI V. J.C. PENNEY COMPANY2
This was a case brought to action by Joanne Zippittelli against her employer, J.C. Penney Company. Zippittelli testified that she was one of four women who applied for a position within the company and she was overlooked for the job due to her age. All four women had the same job title and when they were interviewed by Personnel Manager James Johnson, he determined that three of the four candidates, including the plaintiff, were qualified for the position. Johnson then ranked the applicants, making the plaintiff his third choice (Twomey, pg. 527). After a consultation with Johnson’s supervisor, he hired his first choice, Patti Cruikshank.
Zippittelli was convinced her age was to blame for her lack of success within the company. Zippittelli had a conversation with her supervisor, Anita Benko about how she was overlooked. Benko asked Zippittelli how old she was at which time Zippittelli responded she was 63. Benko made the statement that she would “probably not” get the position. In 2004, Zippittelli filed a complaint with the EEOC and received the right-to-sue letter in 2005. The Age discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination against any individual over the age of 40 with respect to “compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of an individual’s age (Twomey, pg. 528).
The plaintiff now has to make out a prima facie case by showing (1) she is within the protected age class, (2) that she was qualified for the position, (3) she was dismissed despite being qualified, (4) she was replace by a person sufficiently younger. Once this is determined, it now falls upon the defendant to produce the burden of proof that it had a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the discharge (Towmey, pg. 528)....