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Gomez-Perez v. Potter

Gomez-Perez v. Potter, 553 U.S. 474 (2008), is a US labor law case of the United States Supreme Court holding that federal employees can assert claims for retaliation resulting from filing an age discrimination complaint. The case continued the Court's long-standing position that cause for action following retaliation can be inferred in civil rights legislation, even though the law does not explicitly provide protection against victimization.

Gomez-Perez v. Potter
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued February 19, 2008
Decided May 27, 2008
Full case name Myrna Gomez-Perez, Petitioner v. John E. Potter, Postmaster General
Docket nos. 06-1321
Citations 553 U.S. 474 (more)
128 S.Ct. 1931, 170 L.Ed.2d 887
Argument Oral argument
Holding
Federal employees who face retaliation after filing an age discrimination claim are authorized to sue under the federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
Court membership
Chief Justice
John Roberts
Associate Justices
John P. Stevens · Antonin Scalia
Anthony Kennedy · David Souter
Clarence Thomas · Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen Breyer · Samuel Alito
Case opinions
Majority Alito, joined by Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
Dissent Roberts, joined by Scalia, Thomas (all except for Part I)
Dissent Thomas, joined by Scalia
Laws applied
Federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), as added, 88 Stat. 74, and amended, 29 U. S. C. §633a(a) (2000 ed., Supp. V

The case is important because it signaled a willingness by recently appointed Justice Samuel Alito to continue the Court's expansive interpretation of civil rights laws.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Myrna Gómez-Pérez worked for the United States Postal Service as a part-time window distribution clerk in Puerto Rico. Ms. Gómez-Pérez sought a transfer to a full-time position; however, her supervisor denied her request. Ms. Gómez-Pérez alleged that the supervisor denied the request based on her age and filed an EEO complaint on the basis of age discrimination. Subsequently Ms. Gómez-Pérez alleged that, as a result of filing her complaint, in retaliation she was subjected to a series of reprisals that included groundless charges of sexual harassment, substantial reductions in her hours, and being harassed and mocked by her co-workers. As a result, she filed a retaliation complaint.

Opinion of the CourtEdit

The Supreme Court held that federal employees can assert claims for retaliation resulting from filing an age discrimination complaint.

Even though it is not explicitly in the Civil Rights Act, the existence of the right can be inferred from the Act's scheme, as necessary to make the rights effective.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit