In a 7-2 decision today, the Supreme Court held that current and former employees of FedEx who had sued the company claiming age discrimination could proceed with their lawsuit. At issue before the Court was whether one of the employees had filed a “charge” of discrimination with the EEOC — a prerequisite to being able to file suit under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act — when the form that she had submitted to the EEOC was not a “charge” form but rather an “intake questionnaire.”
In a majority opinion written by Justice Kennedy, the Court held that the documents submitted by the employee satisified the requirements for a “charge,” upholding a ruling by the Court of Appeals that rejected form over substance and allows the employees to proceed with their lawsuit. Justices Thomas and Scalia dissented, and would have denied the employees their day in court.
As we have previously reported on Court Watch, People For the American Way Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief in this case along with AARP and several other organizations, urging the Court to rule as it now has in favor of the employees.