Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki, 552 U.S. 389, 128 S. Ct. 1147 (2008)

Patricia Kennedy submitted a “Form 283” (an intake questionnaire) and an accompanying affidavit to the EEOC before filing suit against Federal Express, alleging age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). Federal Express moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the ground that Kennedy had not filed a “charge” with the EEOC at least 60 days before filing suit as required in 29 U.S.C. § 626(d). The district court granted the motion to dismiss, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed, holding that although the term “charge” is not specifically defined in the ADEA, the forms that Kennedy did file were sufficient. The United States Supreme Court affirmed, deferring to the EEOC’s interpretation, but noting “the employer’s interests… were given short shrift, for it was not notified of respondent’s complaint until she filed suit.” (Justices Scalia and Thomas dissented.) Cf. Sprint/United Mgmt. Co. v. Mendelsohn, 552 U.S. 379, 128 S. Ct. 1140 (2008) (appellate court erred in failing to remand case to district court for statement of whether it had applied a per se rule excluding evidence from employees of other supervisors (so-called “me-too” evidence) in age discrimination case).