Court to Review Federal Employee Discrimination Options

October 11, 2013 ( – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to review arguments about a case relating to age discrimination claims and remedies for federal employees.

At issue in the case of Madigan v. Levin is whether or not public employees who claim they have been subject to age discrimination can bypass the requirement of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and simply pursue relief in court under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court justices are now reviewing the case, including the recent arguments before them, before handing down a ruling.

The case originated with Harvey N. Levin, formerly an Illinois assistant attorney general, filing suit on the grounds that he was terminated due to age. While Levin sought relief under the ADEA, he also cited the Equal Protection Clause in his suit. This in turn had the defendants claiming Levin could not sue under both laws and that he needed to exhaust all options under the ADEA first.

In 2012, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Levin could indeed sue under both the ADEA and the Equal Protection Clause. The defendants then appealed to the Supreme Court (see “ADEA Not Exclusive Remedy for Federal Employees”).