Merrick v. Hilton Worldwide, Inc., 2017 WL 3496030 (9th Cir. 2017)

Sixty-year-old Charles Merrick was terminated from his job as Director of Property Operations at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel as part of a reduction in force. Merrick sued for age discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, among other things. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Hilton, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that under the three-part McDonnell Douglas test Merrick had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case of age discrimination and Hilton had established a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the termination (having provided an individualized reason for terminating Merrick). The burden then shifted to Merrick to establish that the reasons Hilton had articulated were pretext for age discrimination, and Merrick failed to do that.