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U.S. Supreme Court Sides With Former Mount Lemmon Firefighters In Age Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled two former firefighters can bring an age discrimination suit against the Mount Lemmon Fire District.

John Guido and Dennis Rankin were the two oldest employees of the district when they were laid off in 2009. The two brought an age discrimination suit, but the district argued the Age Discrimination in Employment Act does not apply to the small fire district.

Private companies with fewer than 20 employees are exempt, but in Tuesday’s opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote there is “scant room for doubt that state and local governments are ’employer(s)’ covered by the ADEA regardless of their size.”

The two former firefighters can now go back to district court and argue their case.

Claire Caulfield first joined KJZZ as an intern in 2015 and now wakes up before the sun to produce and report for Morning Edition. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2017 and covered education policy in the nation's capital, election night in New York City and Native American issues for Cronkite News/ Arizona PBS. Before joining the Morning Edition team, she also worked on a documentary about rap music in the deep South and directed a film on drinking-water quality in the United States.On the weekends, you can find Claire flying her photography drone or working her way through the Pulitzer Prize book list.