Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
  • Date Filed: February 26, 2018
  • Case #: 17-587
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 859 F.3d 1168 (9th Cir. 2017)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the same “20-employee minimum” applicable to private companies also applies to “political subdivisions” of a state, regardless of size?

Respondents, two employees, filed suit against Petitioner, a Special District, alleging that their employment was terminated due to their age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA prohibits discrimination against an employee on the basis of age but excludes entities employing less than 20 people. Though the Act applies to State entities, Respondent employees argued that the 20-employee exclusion does not. The District Court held that because Petitioner employed only 11 individuals, they were exempt from the ADEA’s scope. The Ninth Circuit reversed, reasoning that the federal statue was ambiguous and held that the ADEA applies to State entitles regardless of employee size. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine the scope of the ADEA’s coverage and resolve the circuit split. Petitioner asks the Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit because “U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th Circuits” have reached the opposite conclusions about the Act’s scope. Petitioner argues that under the ADEA, “political subdivisions” are subject to the same standards to which private companies are held.

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