The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
Should a county and the county State's Attorney's office be
considered a single employer for the purpose of determining
whether the ADEA's twenty employee jurisdictional requirement
has been satisfied?
Summary judgment for Defendants.
This cause is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss the Complaint and/or for Summary Judgment. Since
Defendants' motion is supported by an affidavit, it will be
treated as a motion for summary judgment.
Summary Judgment Standard
Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), summary judgment should be entered
"if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show
that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law."
Unquestionably, in determining whether a genuine issue of
material fact exists, the evidence is to be taken in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 1609, 26 L.Ed.2d 142
(1970). Nevertheless, the rule is also well established that
the mere existence of some factual dispute will not frustrate
an otherwise proper summary judgment. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2509-10, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Thus, the "preliminary question for the
judge [is] not whether there is literally no evidence, but
whether there is any upon which a jury could properly proceed
to find a verdict for the party producing it upon whom the onus
of proof is imposed." Id. at 251, 106 S.Ct. at 2511 (quoting
Improvement Co. v. Munson, 81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 442, 448, 20
L.Ed. 867 (1872)); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). Applying
this standard, the Court now turns to the case at bar.
Plaintiff has filed an action against Pike County, the Pike
County State's Attorney's Office, and the Pike County State's
Attorney under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA),
29 U.S.C. § 623.
Plaintiff does not contest Defendants' claim regarding the
number of employees in the Pike County State's Attorney's
Office. Rather, Plaintiff asserts that the State's Attorney is
a county official and therefore a co-employer with the county.
Plaintiff alleges that she was paid by Pike County and covered
under the county retirement benefit plan. Further, Plaintiff
states that she was told before she was hired that the County
Board had to approve her hiring. Consequently, Plaintiff argues
the ADEA's definition of an "employer" is met because the
county employs more than twenty employees.
In opposition to the Defendants' suggestion that Pike County
is not a proper party, Plaintiff argues that the State's
Attorney's Office acted as an ...