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WILKES v. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D


October 5, 1982

LLOYD F. WILKES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Lloyd Wilkes ("Wilkes") has sued United States Postal Service ("USPS") under the section of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applicable to the Federal Government, 29 U.S.C. § 633a.*fn1 USPS has filed a motion stated as aimed at the entire relief portion of Wilkes' Second Amended Complaint, but in fact addressed only to Paragraphs b, d and e of the prayer for relief. As so limited USPS' motion is granted for the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order.

Paragraph d asks for damages for mental distress allegedly incurred by Wilkes because of his discharge. In Pfeiffer v. Essex Wire Corp., 682 F.2d 684 (7th Cir. 1982), our Court of Appeals recently decided such damages are not recoverable under ADEA. Pfeiffer of course controls, and Paragraph d is therefore stricken.

As for Paragraphs b and e, they seek a finding of USPS' willful violation of ADEA in discharging Wilkes, with a corollary award of liquidated damages. What Wilkes has failed to take into account is that the Federal Government stands in a different position from other employers under ADEA:

    1. Liquidated damages are a creature of
  statute, awardable under § 626(b). But the
  statutory structure that extends ADEA to the
  Government as employer (§ 633a(f)) specifically
  makes the other statutory provisions — including §
  626(b) — inapplicable.*fn2

    2. That reading is consistent with and called
  for by Lehman v. Nakshian,

  453 U.S. 156 [101 S.Ct. 2698, 69 L.Ed.2d 548] (1981),
  both in terms of statutory construction and as a
  matter of sovereign immunity.

    3. It is true that § 633a(c) allows the Court, in
  ADEA actions against the Federal Government, to
  grant "such legal or equitable relief as will
  effectuate the purposes of this chapter." That
  language however should be read in conjunction with
  the specific inapplicability of the liquidated
  damages provision of § 626(b). This Court will not,
  in light of Lehman, imply the remedy of liquidated
  damages from the general provision for "legal or
  equitable relief."

Accord, Muth v. Marsh, 525 F. Supp. 604, 608-9 (D.D.C. 1981). For that reason, Paragraphs b and e are stricken as well.


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