Age Discrimination Tag

In its first opinion of the term in Mt. Lemmon Fire District v. Guido the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to state and local government employers with less than 20 employees. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief arguing that it should not apply. State and local governments often rely on small special districts to provide services they don’t provide. John Guido was 46 and Dennis Rankin was 54 when they were laid off by the Mount Lemmon Fire District. They claim they were terminated because of their age in violation of the ADEA. They were the oldest of the district’s 11 employees. The fire district argued that the ADEA does not apply to it because it employs fewer than 20 people. The Ninth Circuit disagreed. The term “employer” is defined in the ADEA as a “person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has 20 or more employees.” The definition goes on to say “[t]he term also means (1) any agent of such a person, and (2) a State or political subdivision of a State.”

Here are last week's published decisions involving local governments:SCT pillars First Circuit Snyder v. Gaudet, No. 12-1422 (June 25, 2014) (In 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging violation of equal protection because city applied zoning restriction differently to Snyder than to prior owner, granting qualified immunity to defendants because right was not clearly established):

Here are last week's published decisions involving local governments:5653819568_1e37db21d0_z First Circuit Second Circuit

A County retirement-benefit plan requires an employee to contribute a percentage of his salary to the plan.Retirement But not all employees contribute at the same rate. Instead, an older employee must contribute at a higher rate than a younger employee who enrolls at the same time. Does this violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act? The Fourth Circuit, in EEOC v. Baltimore County, No. 13-1106 (Mar. 31, 2014), said that in the case of Baltimore County's plan, it does. In the court's view,

The first significant case affecting local governments in this new Supreme Court term  -- Madigan v. Levin -- ended poorly. The Court resolved the case with a DIG -- the Court dismissed it as improvidently granted. Supreme Court3 What went wrong? And what can we learn from it about appellate jurisdiction? An Important Question The case had all the hallmarks of a classic Supreme Court case. The question presented was important. It asked whether when a state or local government employee alleges that his employer has discriminated against him because of his age, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") provides his exclusive remedy, or whether he may also bring a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 because the discrimination violates the Constitution's Equal-Protection Clause. The question had divided the lower courts. The Seventh Circuit acknowledged that its holding -- that the ADEA does not prevent the employee from bringing a Section 1983 claim -- created a deep circuit split. And it had far-reaching implications. It could literally impact every state and local government. What Went Wrong? So why would the Court, after granting cert. and hearing oral argument, suddenly change its mind and toss the case?