Penn State

Fired Penn State worker sees lawsuit tossed

A fired Penn State systems engineer has lost a federal lawsuit in which he claimed retaliation for filing age discrimination complaints.

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann on Wednesday granted Penn State’s summary judgment motion, writing that William Gairloch, of Bellefonte, failed to establish a prima facie case of retaliation.

Gairloch contended the retaliation included a poor performance evaluation, being subjected to a performance improvement plan and termination of telecommuting privileges.

He was hired in April 1996 as a data engineer and by 2006 had been promoted to a systems engineer.

His age-related discrimination complaint was based on actions he says included threats to eliminate telecommuting privileges and questions about his pay and that of younger co-workers.

The university noted in its summary judgment motion Gairloch in 2009 completed about a third of the work orders of his peers and he was spending a fourth of his time telecommuting.