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Typically, stray or innocuous remarks at work are found by courts to be insufficient, standing alone, to furnish the basis for a discrimination claim. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in the case of Curtis v. Unionville-Chadds Ford Sch. Dist., E.D. Pa., No. 2:12-CV-04786 (May 2, 2013), however, recently found that repeated comments than an employee was having a “senior moment” could furnish a basis for an age discrimination claim.  Curtis, a school employee, had a series of incidents where she became forgetful about certain activities within her area of responsibility.  The school principal apparently had made repeated comments to Curtis that he was concerned about her forgetfulness and that she must have, therefore, been having a “senior moment.”  Curtis was also subjected to discipline for conduct that her younger co-employees were not disciplined for.  The Court decided that the sum of all of these factors, including the principal’s reference to “senior moments” raised an inference of age discrimination.  The takeaway for employers here is obvious:  even stray, seemingly innocuous comments can sometimes furnish a basis for a claim.  When employees complain about these types of situations, take the complaint seriously and investigate. 

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