Wednesday, October 3, 2018

SCOTUS kicks off new season with ADEA case

On Monday, the Supreme Court kicked off its new season with only 8 Justices (with a 9th possibly, maybe, on the way). The Court heard oral arguments in Mt. Lemmon Fire Dist. v. Guido (transcript here). The case presents an interesting ADEA issue.

Generally, the ADEA covers employers with 20 or more employees. Does that 20-employee minimum apply to states (and their political subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities)? The statutory text:
The term “employer” means a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has twenty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year…. The term also means (1) any agent of such a person, and (2) a State or political subdivision of a State and any agency or instrumentality of a State or a political subdivision of a State, and any interstate agency, but such term does not include the United States, or a corporation wholly owned by the Government of the United States.
29 U.S.C. § 630(b).

Most circuit courts that have examined this issue have held that yes, the 20-employee minimum applies. So, that's where my money is on this case - but we'll see.

Mt. Lemmon Fire Dist. v. Guido SCOTUSblog page.