U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Age Discrimination Case
The Supreme Court has agreed to consider a case about whether state workers alleging age discrimination can sue under federal civil rights law.
The case concerns Harvey Levin, a lawyer who worked for the Illinois attorney general’s office who sued the office for sex and age discrimination after he was fired in 2006 in his early 60s.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming a trial court decision, ruled that Levin can sue under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, using a Reconstruction-era law known as section 1983 that allows state workers to bring claims against their employers.
Four other appellate courts that tackled similar cases ruled that state-sector employees must bring their age discrimination cases only under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and can’t sue under section 1983. Section 1983 gives plaintiffs certain remedies that the Age Discrimination in Employment law does not, such as the ability to sue state workers as individuals, and the possibility of compensatory damages.