The fourth element of a prima facie age discrimination case can include proof that the older employee was replaced by a substantially younger person in the employer's workplace. Does it make a difference if the younger employee is characterized as a "temporary employee only? "No" the Sixth Circuit again reiterated recently in Moffat v Walmart Stores:
In its brief, Walmart concedes that it replaced [the plaintiffs] with 19 and 21-year-olds, although it asserts the two new hires were temporary associates. That the new hires were temporary -- rather than permanent -- does not alter our analysis. See Tuttle v Metro Govt of Nashville, 474 F3d 307, 318 (6th Cir 2007)("In cases were the new hire takes on the plaintiff's former job responsibilities, merely designating the new hire 'temporary' will not defeat the fourth element.").
We also discussed the Moffat case in a previous post: Does An Age Discrimination Plaintiff Have to Show That He Was Treated Less Favorably Than Someone Outside the Protected Class?