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A federal appeals court on Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling and reinstated age discrimination and retaliation claims filed by a fired postal worker.
The United States Postal Service hired Anastasia Nedd Allen as a city carrier assistant in April 2018, when she was 53, subject to a 90-day probationary period, according to the ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in Anastasia Nedd Allen v. United States Postal Service, Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General.
She was fired before her probationary period lapsed. Ms. Allen contacted the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which led to a written settlement. She was reinstated in December 2018, but terminated again in February 2019.
Ms. Allen filed suit against the post office in U.S. District Court in New Orleans charging age discrimination and retaliation. The district court granted the post office summary judgment dismissing the case.
Its ruling was overturned by a three-judge appeals court panel. While post office supervisors reported deficiencies on Ms. Allen’s part, her evidence “tells a different story,” that includes reports of mail being hidden from her, not being given a key to open mail receptacles, and of her supervisors making negative remarks about her age and treating a younger carrier more favorably.
“In her affidavit, Allen details multiple specific incidents suggesting at best, innocence of poor performance and, at worst, sabotage,” the ruling said, in reinstating her age discrimination and retaliation claims and remanding the case for further proceedings.
Ms. Allen’s attorney, Isaac H. Ryan of Ike Ryan APLC in New Orleans, said Ms. Allen is very pleased with the outcome and looks forward to litigating her claims on remand.
The post office’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.