On July 12, 2018, NELA was pleased to join our colleagues at AARP and AARP Foundation Litigation on an amicus brief in support of the Respondents John Guido and Dennis Rankin in Mt. Lemmon Fire District v. Guido & Rankin, pending currently in the U.S. Supreme Court. This case concerns whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to state and local government entities with fewer than twenty employees. The brief makes a number of compelling arguments in favor of upholding the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the ADEA covers the entities in question. First, settled principles of statutory construction that have been reaffirmed many times by the U.S. Supreme Court support the conclusion that the employer in question is covered by the ADEA. Second, the brief draws on a number of previous decisions in which the Court declined to apply interpretations from cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to the ADEA, where there were key differences in the texts, contexts, and histories of the respective statutes. Finally, the brief does well to point out that the Petitioners’ arguments regarding the potential threats that ADEA enforcement would pose to the financial survival … Read More
On July 28, 2014, NELA filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court in Graves v. Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc., No. 13-1546. The petition was filed by NELA members Richard T. Seymour and Eric Schnapper on behalf of petitioner Daniel B. Graves. The issue in this age discrimination case is whether courts should grant summary judgment by relying on inferences that excuse all but the most egregious evidence of discrimination. NELA scrutinizes requests for amicus briefs at the petition stage closely. One was warranted here because this issue falls squarely within NELA’s current amicus priorities of combatting summary judgment abuse and challenging judicially created doctrines that erect barriers to jury trial access to plaintiffs alleging employment discrimination.
Plaintiff Graves held the positions of both director and managing director at defendant Deutsche Bank with responsibility for maintaining relationships with major corporate clients. Graves complained that some of his accounts being were re-assigned to younger bankers with the effect of significantly decreasing his annual bonus. He was terminated days before the bonuses were scheduled to be paid. Graves testified that his supervisor said that the dismissal was not performance based, but motivated because … Read More
On August 9, 2011, NELA filed an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, et al. (Case No. 10-553). The issue in this case is whether the First Amendment’s so-called “ministerial exception” bars a claim that a parochial school teacher was dismissed in retaliation for stating that she was going to assert her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this case, Cheryl Perich was terminated from her teaching position after returning from medical leave. Though she primarily taught secular classes, Perich devoted approximately forty-five minutes of the seven hour school day to religious activities. When she attempted to return to work, the school prevented her from doing so and she told the school she planned to sue for discrimination. Perich was then sent a letter stating that she had “damaged, beyond repair” her working relationship with Hosanna-Tabor by “threatening to take legal action.” Approximately, one month later she was fired. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decided to take her case to court in late 2007 and Perich intervened in early 2008. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Hosanna-Tabor, dismissing the claim on the … Read More