Bucalo v. Shelter Island Union Free Sch. Dist., No. 10-1516 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 1999, Bucalo, then 42 years old, applied for a position as a school librarian and was not hired; the position went to a 35-year-old man. Bucalo filed a charge of age and sex discrimination with the EEOC, which granted a right-to-sue letter, but she did not file. In 2003, the position re-opened and Bucalo, then 46, reapplied. Lanier, a new superintendent, selected interviewees; Bucalo was not among them. A committee hired a 32-year-old woman. Bucalo sued, alleging violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621, and retaliation for her 1999 EEOC complaint, violating the ADEA and the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e. Lanier, then suffering from a debilitating disease, executed an affidavit asserting that he had not selected Bucalo because she had worked in numerous short-term positions, evidencing “instability,” and denying that he had considered Bucalo’s age or 1999 EEOC charge. Lanier died before trial. The district court ruled in favor of the District. The Second Circuit affirmed, rejecting an argument that because of the death of the sole District employee with direct knowledge of the reasons she was not hired, Bucalo was entitled to judgment under the burden-shifting framework set forth in McDonnell Douglas.