O'CONNOR v. CONSOLIDATED COIN CATERERS CORP.

Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
95-354
Petitioner 
O'Connor
Respondent 
Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp.
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(On behalf of the United States, as amicus curiae, supporting the petitioner)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

James O'Connor, 56, was fired by Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp. and replaced by a 40-year-old worker. O'Connor filed suit alleging that his discharge violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). The District Court granted Consolidated's summary judgment motion. In affirming, the Court of Appeals held that O'Connor failed to make out a prima facie case of age discrimination because he failed to show that he was replaced by someone outside the age group protected by the ADEA since his replacement was 40 years old.

Question 

Can an employee file an age discrimination suit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 if his or her replacement is 40 or older?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for O'Connor, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Age Discrimination in Employment (ADEA)

Yes. In a unanimous decision, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court ruled that although the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 limits its protection to those who are 40 or older, it prohibits discrimination against those protected employees on the basis of age, not class membership. "That one member of the protected class lost out to another member is irrelevant, so long as he lost out because of his age. The latter is more reliably indicated by the fact that his replacement was substantially younger," wrote Justice Scalia.

Cite this Page
O'CONNOR v. CONSOLIDATED COIN CATERERS CORP.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 12 December 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1995/1995_95_354>.
O'CONNOR v. CONSOLIDATED COIN CATERERS CORP., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1995/1995_95_354 (last visited December 12, 2014).
"O'CONNOR v. CONSOLIDATED COIN CATERERS CORP.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed December 12, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1995/1995_95_354.