Cameron v. Idearc Media Corp., No. 11-2186 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, former directory-advertising sales representatives for Idearc were discharged in 2007. Each was older than 40 and each had at least 18 years of service. Idearc claimed they were let go for poor performance; the employees alleged that the terminations were motivated by age discrimination (Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621) and a desire to negate pension benefits (Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. 1140,). They also advanced a retaliation claim. The district court rejected all of their claims. The First Circuit affirmed, noting the company’s performance-based standards. Idearc’s 2002 collective bargaining agreement authorized Idearc to terminate underperforming employees as specified by the plan. Employees were ranked within six-month periods by "percent net gain," calculated by comparing a salesperson's revenues against the revenue produced by his accounts in the previous year. Idearc was permitted to terminate employees failing 4 out of 7 consecutive semesters, but no more than 7.5 percent of a peer group could be terminated in any given semester.