United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D
October 5, 1982
LLOYD F. WILKES, PLAINTIFF,
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
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
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.