Diaz v. Jiten Hotel Mgmt., Inc, No. 11-1505 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 1997, a new owner purchased the hotel and employed plaintiff, an employee since 1985 as executive housekeeper. Patel was the general manager; their relationship began to deteriorate in 2003. Plaintiff attributes the change to her age, claiming that Patel made ageist comments. The owner stopped giving plaintiff annual evaluations and raises in 2004, despite company policy. Plaintiff reported Patel's behavior to headquarters; a vice president met with Patel but did not take disciplinary action. The vice president testified that the company had financial difficulties and that plaintiff's salary had maxed out. The owner terminated plaintiff in 2006. After filing a complaint with the EEOC and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, she brought claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621-624, and the Massachusetts anti-discrimination statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of plaintiff only on her state law claim and awarded $7,650.00 in compensatory damages. The First Circuit affirmed, upholding the court's decision to give a "mixed motive" jury instruction without certifying the issue to the state supreme court and declining to give a limitations period instruction.