Levin v. Madigan, No. 11-2820 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Levin worked as an Illinois Assistant Attorney General from 2000, until his termination in 2006. Levin was over the age of 60 at the time of his termination and believes he was fired because of his age and gender. He was replaced by a woman in her 30s. He brought claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment via 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court denied a motion to dismiss the individual-capacity defendants on grounds of qualified immunity with respect to Levin’s section 1983 age discrimination claim. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. At the time of the alleged wrongdoing, it was clearly established that age discrimination in employment violates the Equal Protection Clause. Although age is not a suspect classification, states may not discriminate on that basis if such discrimination is not “rationally related to a legitimate state interest.” Whether the ADEA is the exclusive remedy for plaintiffs suffering age discrimination in employment is irrelevant; a constitutional right was clearly established.