Schindler Elevator Corporation (defendant) laid off several employees. Most of the employees, including Raymond Vincent Nidds (plaintiff), were older workers. Schindler attributed most of the layoffs to decreased business, but later explained Nidds's layoff as due to his relative lack of seniority and technical skill. Nidds filed California employment discrimination complaints against Schindler. Schindler later rehired Nidds, but terminated his employment after a customer sent Schindler a letter criticizing Nidds's work. Nidds sued Schindler in federal district court, alleging that Schindler laid him off and then terminated him because of his age and in retaliation for filing discrimination complaints against Schindler. Nidds attempted to rebut Schindler's nondiscriminatory and nonretaliatory defense by producing evidence that: (1) Schindler made shifting out-of-court statements that undercut the credibility of its in-court defenses, (2) Schindler responded to decreased business by dismissing mostly older workers, (3) Nidds's own workload was unaffected by decreased business, (4) Nidds's supervisor made derogatory comments about older workers, and (5) Schindler falsely accused Nidds of missing a service call and induced the customer to write a critical letter to disguise Schindler's intent to retaliate against Nidds for filing discrimination complaints. The court granted Schindler's motion for summary judgment, and Nidds appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.