Legal Updates

Employment Law – Age Discrimination – Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint

The current Supreme Court case of Gómez-Pérez v. Potter [2008] analyses whether the federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) prohibits retaliation against employees who complain of age discrimination.

In this case, Myrna Gómez-Pérez worked as a clerk for the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) in Puerto Rico. Gómez-Pérez sued claiming that USPS, her federal employer, retaliated against her because she filed an equal employment opportunity complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of age.

A federal district court granted summary judgment to the USPS on the ground that the ADEA does not provide a cause of action for retaliation by federal employers. Applying ADEA s.15 (29 USC s.633(a)) the 1st Circuit reasoned that the statutory prohibition against "discrimination" does not include a prohibition against retaliation. It is now for the Supreme Court to decide whether the ADEA provides a cause of action for retaliation against federal employees.

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© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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