Jury Trial Finding No Age Discrimination

A Principal in an eastern school district took full retirement under the Public Employee Retirement Fund of Idaho. He then applied for a terminating one-year contract under a provision of “Hire the Retired,” which allows school districts to fill difficult or open positions with a retired person. When his contract was not renewed, he brought a case under age discrimination laws in Federal Court, asserting that he was the most qualified candidate and that age was a factor in his non-employment. The School District countered by stating that he had no expectation of continued employment, and that age was not the reason for not offering a position, but rather, the quality of other candidates disallowed the “Hire the Retired” mechanism.

On October 22, 2021, a unanimous Federal Court Jury ruled in favor of the employer stating that no discrimination occurred. See Cairns v. Idaho Falls Sch. Dist. No. 91, Case No: 4:18-cv-00564, Judge Lynn Winmill, presiding.  Partner Bret Walther tried the case.