Buckeye Partners L.P. - Discrimination Allegations Dismissed as Court Sides With Client in Workforce Reorganization


Buckeye Partners L.P., a publicly-traded energy company, needed AGG’s help in planning for and implementing a multi-jurisdictional workforce reorganization that impacted nearly twenty-five percent of its workforce. Buckeye then needed assistance after one of its impacted employees filed an age and gender discrimination lawsuit arising from the reorganization.


Factoring the overall demographics of Buckeye’s workforce, AGG worked with management to carefully plan a voluntary reduction in force before implementing any involuntary reductions. AGG then assisted Buckeye with the selection process and in developing a generous severance package for its impacted workforce. When Buckeye’s decisions were then challenged in litigation, AGG was able to rely on the soundness of the underlying project to vigorously defend Buckeye’s position.


Buckeye’s reorganization both transformed the company’s operational structure and improved its financial performance in a very competitive environment. The soundness of Buckeye’s methodology was specifically recognized by the District Court on summary judgment. In entering judgment in favor of Buckeye, the court said that while it was sympathetic to the persons impacted by job reductions, “this case seems to represent a sincere effort by an employer to make difficult decisions on which employees to retain within the appropriate legal boundaries.”