Gomez-Perez sued her employer, the United States Postal Service (USPS), for violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Gomez-Perez alleges that she was subject to retaliatory treatment after filing an age discrimination complaint against her supervisors. The district court granted summary judgment to the USPS on the grounds that the USPS enjoys sovereign immunity from lawsuits.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision, holding that while the USPS has waived sovereign immunity with respect to ADEA suits, the ADEA does not allow federal employees to sue for retaliation. Because the language of the ADEA prohibits “discrimination based on age” and does not mention retaliation for discrimination, the Court reasoned that it was not Congress’s intent to include retaliation as a cause of action.
Whether the federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 633a, prohibits retaliation against employees who complain of age discrimination.