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Stilwell v. City of Williams, No. 14-15540, __ F.3d __ (9th Cir. Aug. 5, 2016)

Articles Discussing Case:

Ninth Circuit Holds Section 1983 First Amendment Retaliation Claim Not Necessarily Precluded By Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 09, 2016
On August 5, 2016, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not preclude a First Amendment retaliation claim under section 1983 of the federal Civil Rights Act. Stilwell v. City of Williams, No. 14-15540, __ F.3d __ (9th Cir. Aug. 5, 2016). The decision is significant because section 1983 may now provide a remedy to a public-sector employee alleging retaliation, based on age discrimination, against a state or local government entity or official. In contrast, no such remedies are available under the ADEA because the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Eleventh Amendment provides immunity from ADEA claims against state actors. Section 1983 is thus an alternative avenue for a public employee to challenge a public employer’s alleged retaliatory conduct for exercising free speech in the age discrimination context.

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