United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
JOSEPH S. von KAENEL, Plaintiff,
ARMSTRONG TEASDALE, LLP, Defendants.
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss, [Doc. No. 8]. Plaintiff opposes the Motion. For the
reasons set forth below, the Motion is denied.
Complaint alleges that this is an action brought pursuant to
the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,
(“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 623for age
discrimination. The following facts are alleged:
Joseph S. von Kaenel is a male resident of St. Louis,
Missouri. Plaintiff's date of birth is November 27, 1944.
Armstrong Teasdale, LLP is a Missouri limited liability
partnership doing business in St. Louis County with offices
located at 7700 Forsyth Blvd, Clayton, MO 63105.
was employed by Defendant as an attorney from June 1, 1972,
to December 31, 2014, and was an equity partner at the time
of his termination. During his employment with Defendant,
Plaintiff performed the duties of his job in a satisfactory
manner. At all times relevant herein, Plaintiff was an
employee, as defined by the Age Discrimination in Employment
Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 630(f), in that he
was an individual employed by an employer, and is therefore
entitled to the protections of that statute.
times relevant herein, Defendant was an employer, as defined
by the ADEA, 29 U.S.C. § 630(b), in that it was, and is,
engaged in an industry affecting commerce and employed twenty
(20) or more persons for each working day in each of twenty
or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar
informed Plaintiff in, on, or about March 2014 that Plaintiff
would not be allowed to remain employed with Defendant past
December 31, 2014, because he would be turning seventy (70)
years old that year. Defendant has a policy which requires
that equity partners leave the firm at the end of the
calendar year in which the equity partner turns seventy (70)
years of age. As a result of this policy, Defendant
instituted a program and has a practice of phasing out senior
lawyers, which includes steering work away from them,
reducing their contact with clients, and reducing their
March 2014 and December 2014, at least one partner at the
firm requested that Plaintiff be permitted to remain at the
firm past December 31, 2014. Defendant denied that request.
last day at work with Defendant was December 31, 2014.
was entitled to receive severance benefits for two years when
he retired. When he was terminated, Plaintiff was eligible to
receive the severance benefits. However, as a condition of
receiving those benefits, Defendant required Plaintiff to
cease the private practice of law. Plaintiff wished to
continue practicing law and did so.
terminated Plaintiff's severance benefits and failed and
refused to pay Plaintiff severance benefits because Plaintiff
continued to engage in the private practice of law.
Defendant's discriminatory policy, Plaintiff would have
retired at or around age 75 or later and would have ceased
practicing law at that time and would ...