Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

PFEIFFER v. WM. WRIGLEY JR. CO.

October 20, 1983

JOHN W. PFEIFFER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WM. WRIGLEY JR. COMPANY, DEFENDANT.



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

Memorandum

This cause is before the court on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff, John Pfeiffer, is a 65 year old American citizen who was employed in West Germany by defendant, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company ("Wrigley"). In March 1983, his employment was terminated; he alleges that this was unlawful and in violation of his rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. The sole issue presented in this motion is whether the ADEA applies extraterritorially to American citizens working in foreign countries. For the reasons stated below, this court holds that it does not; therefore, defendant's motion is granted.

Plaintiff argues that he was, at all times during his employment, an employee of U.S. Wrigley. He claims that the decision to terminate his employment came from Wrigley's Chicago headquarters and his termination was based on his age in violation of Section 623 of the ADEA. 29 U.S.C. § 623. Defendant, denying that plaintiff's termination was based on his age, moves for summary judgment on the ground that ADEA does not apply to American citizens who are employed in a foreign country by either American or foreign corporations.

It is well established that in the absence of an express provision to the contrary, Congressional legislation applies only within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Blackmer v. United States, 284 U.S. 421, 437, 52 S.Ct. 252, 254, 76 L.Ed. 375 (1932). At issue here is the extraterritorial application of the ADEA. Nowhere in the statute does it provide that its terms apply outside the United States. Defendants argue that not only did Congress not intend to have the ADEA apply extraterritorially by not specifically providing for it in the Act; but this intention is clearly shown by Congress' incorporation of provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201-19, into the ADEA. For example, Section 626(b) of ADEA, which incorporates various provisions of FLSA, states that:

  The provision of this chapter shall be enforced in
  accordance with the powers, remedies, and procedures
  provided in sections 211(b), 216 (except for
  subsection (a) thereof), and 217 of this title, and
  subsection (c) of this section.

29 U.S.C. § 626(b).

Section 216(d) of the FLSA, referred to above, provides:

  In any action or proceeding . . . no employer shall
  be subject to any liability or punishment under this
  chapter . . . on account of his failure to
  comply . . . with respect to work heretofore or
  hereafter performed in a workplace to which the
  exemption in section 213(f) of this title is
  applicable. . . .

29 U.S.C. § 216(d).

Section 213(f), referred to in section 216(d) above, prohibits the extraterritorial application of the FLSA:

  [T]his title shall not apply with respect to any
  employee whose services during the work week are
  performed in a workplace within a foreign country.

29 U.S.C. § 213(f). (emphasis added.)

It is clear to the court that when Congress incorporated various provisions of FLSA into ADEA it intended to incorporate the territorial restrictions of FLSA. If Congress wished ADEA to apply extraterritorially, it could have explicitly eliminated incorporation of section 213(f) of FLSA into ADEA. The Supreme Court in Lorillard v. Pons, 434 U.S. 575, 98 S.Ct. 866, 55 L.Ed.2d 40 (1978) held that jury trials are available to private litigants under ADEA because ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.