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Supreme Court Punts on Age Discrimination Case

If you or your business faces an employment discrimination lawsuit, it is important to work with a Florida lawyer who stays up-to-date on the ever-changing law. Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court sent an age discrimination case out of Michigan back to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on the grounds they should not have decided to take the case. In Levin v. Madigan, the Circuit Court had found that an Assistant Attorney General in Illinois could bring an age discrimination case against state officials who may have been the responsible parties for his firing after he had reached 60 years of age. The question that faced this federal appeals court was whether the state officials he sued could be protected or immunized from the lawsuit under the doctrine of qualified immunity.

Most states provide immunity, either absolute or qualified, to governmental officials and employees — which may protect them from being sued. The general rationale underlying the immunity doctrine is that some state officials who must exercise discretion (i.e. make tough calls) in their decision-making should not be worried about being second guessed later on by members of the judicial branch. 

In the State of Florida, state officials and members of various agencies and departments thereof can be sued under certain circumstances. As recently as 2010, the state legislature raised the level of caps limiting the amount for which certain officials can be sued. But, the analysis as to when such immunity can afford protection to some state officials for actions, decisions or omissions they made is quite complicated and can depend on the specific facts of a case.

Whether an individual in Florida can sue particular state officials for an injury that an official may have caused is often a complex issue. If you believe you may have an age discrimination or some other type of employment discrimination against a state, county or city official in Florida, you should consult an attorney to see whether you have a viable case.

For experienced handling of employment law cases, contact the Tampa attorneys at Saady and Saxe.

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