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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Myrna Gomez-Perez
John E. Potter, Postmaster General
(on behalf of the Respondent)
Facts of the Case 

Myrna Gómez-Pérez worked as a clerk for the United States Postal Service (USPS) in Puerto Rico. Gómez alleged that she was subject to retaliatory treatment after filing an age discrimination complaint against her supervisors under section 15 of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). A federal district court granted summary judgment to the USPS on the ground that the United States had not waived sovereign immunity as to retaliation claims under the ADEA.

Gómez appealed to the United States Court of Appeals in the First Circuit. It held that the USPS and Potter have waived sovereign immunity with respect to ADEA suits, but that Section 15 of the ADEA does not provide a cause of action for retaliation by federal employers.


Does the ADEA prohibit retaliation against federal employees?

Decision: 6 votes for Gomez-Perez, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Age Discrimination in Employment (ADEA)

Yes, the ADEA prohibits retaliation against federal employees. Writing for a six-Justice majority, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. relied on prior Court rulings holding that retaliation is covered by similar language in other antidiscrimination statutes. Noting the similarity between these statutes and the ADEA, Alito concluded that Congress had intended to include a retaliation prohibition in the ADEA. Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas filed dissenting opinions each joined in part by Justice Antonin Scalia.

Cite this Page
GOMEZ-PEREZ v. POTTER. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_06_1321>.
GOMEZ-PEREZ v. POTTER, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_06_1321 (last visited August 25, 2015).
"GOMEZ-PEREZ v. POTTER," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_06_1321.