and Submitted December 15, 2016 San Francisco, California
from the United States District Court for the District of
Arizona D.C. No. 4:13-cv-00216-JAS James Alan Soto, District
Shannon Giles (argued) and Don Awerkamp, Awerkamp &
Bonilla P.L.C., Tucson, Arizona, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.
Jeffrey C. Matura (argued) and Amanda J. Taylor, Graif
Barrett & Matura P.C., Phoenix, Arizona, for
Noel Occhialino (argued), Attorney; Jennifer S. Goldstein,
Associate General Counsel; P. David Lopez, General Counsel;
Office of General Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, Washington, D.C.; for Amicus Curiae Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission.
Before: Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Ronald M. Gould, and
Milan D. Smith, Jr., Circuit Judges.
panel reversed the district court's summary judgment in
favor of the defendant fire district, a political subdivision
of Arizona, in an action brought by two firefighter captains
under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
with other circuits, the panel held that a political
subdivision of a State need not have twenty or more employees
in order to qualify as an employer subject to the
requirements of the ADEA. The panel remanded the case for
O'SCANNLAIN, Circuit Judge:
decide whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of
1967 applies to a political subdivision of Arizona.
Guido and Dennis Rankin were both hired in 2000 by Mount
Lemmon Fire District, a political subdivision of the State of
Arizona. Guido and Rankin served as full-time firefighter
Captains. They were the two oldest full-time employees at the
Fire District when they were terminated on June 15, 2009,
Guido at forty-six years of age and Rankin at fifty-four.
and Rankin subsequently filed charges of age discrimination
against the Fire District with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), which issued
separate favorable rulings for each, finding reasonable cause
to believe the Fire District violated the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-34
("ADEA"). They then filed this suit for age
discrimination against the Fire District in April 2013.
district court granted the Fire District's motion for
summary judgment, concluding that it was not an
"employer" within the meaning of the ADEA.
and Rankin timely appealed.
and Rankin challenge the district court's conclusion that
the Fire District was not an "employer" within the
meaning of the ADEA.
ADEA applies only to an "employer." Under 29 U.S.C.