by Michael Fox
Answering a question that has probably been burning at least in the back of your mind, the 6th Circuit after surveying its sister circuits, decided that hereafter, in the 6th Circuit when an employee is replaced by a person less than 6 years younger, they can't meet the fourth element of a prima facie case of age discrimination, at least without some special showing. Grosjean v. First Energy Corp. (6h Cir. 11/13/03).
What they found in checking out the other circuits,was the bright line in the 7th Circuit of 10 years, Hartley v. Wisc. Bell, 124 F.3d 887 (7th Cir. 1997), and that most other circuits followed the Hartley rule. Summing up, their standard is "also at least as lenient towards plaintiffs as all decisions of our sister circuits with the exception of the standard-less Ninth Circuit and the three-year-standard Eleventh Circuit."