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Caputy v. Quad/Graphics, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

May 11, 2015

PAULA CAPUTY, Plaintiff,
v.
QUAD/GRAPHICS, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS

F. DENNIS SAYLOR, IV, District Judge.

This action arises out of an employment termination. Defendant Quad/Graphics, Inc. ("Quad Graphics") terminated the plaintiff, Paula Caputy, at the age of 64. The complaint alleges that plaintiff was terminated due (at least in part) to her age, in violation of the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act, Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 151B §4(1B). Plaintiff seeks to recover compensatory damages for lost wages, front pay and emotional distress, as well as costs and attorneys' fees. Jurisdiction is based on diversity.

Defendant has moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be denied.

I. Background

A. Factual Background

Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are presented as stated in the complaint.

Defendant Quad Graphics is a Wisconsin corporation that maintains an office in Weymouth, Massachusetts. (Compl. ¶ 6). On September 25, 2006, at the age of 59, plaintiff Paula Caputy began working for Quad Graphics as a Sales Service Representative. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8).

According to the complaint, plaintiff's work performance throughout her employment was "always more than satisfactory." (Id. ¶ 12). As of January 2012, she was one of five Sales Service Representatives employed by Quad Graphics in Weymouth. (Id. ¶ 9). All five employees performed the same job function and possessed the same skill set. (Id. ¶ 11).

On January 26, 2012, Thomas O'Brien, an employee of defendant, notified Caputy that her employment was being terminated effective immediately. (Id. ¶ 13). He stated: "It's about the economy. It has nothing to do with your work... it's been fine." (Id. ¶ 14). O'Brien gave no other reason for her termination at that time. (Id. ¶ 15). According to the complaint, Quad Graphics subsequently informed Caputy that she "was chosen for termination by her fellow employees." (Compl. ¶ 20).

At the time of her termination, Caputy was 64 years old. (Id. ¶ 16). The other four Sales Service Representatives in the Weymouth office were 53, 52, 49, and 29 years old. (Id. ¶ 10). They were not terminated by Quad Graphics at the time of Caputy's termination. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 17).

Caputy's salary at the time of her termination was $50, 000 per year. (Id. ¶ 18). She also received health insurance, disability insurance, and 401(K) retirement plan benefits as additional compensation. (Id. ).

B. Procedural Background

On October 15, 2014, Caputy filed a complaint in the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Plymouth County. On November 13, 2014, Quad Graphics removed the action to this Court on the basis of diversity. On November 20, 2014, Quad Graphics moved to dismiss the ...


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