Williams v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians, No. 15-13552 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, alleging that she was terminated from her job because of her age pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. 621-634. The district court adopted the Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation to grant the Poarch Band's motion to dismiss the suit based on the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity. In this case, there is no evidence that the Poarch Band waived its immunity, either generally or in the present suit. The court rejected plaintiff's comparison of the definitions of the term "employer" found in the ADEA and Title VII, in conjunction with the Supreme Court's opinion in Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer; plaintiff's argument that the ADEA is a statute of general applicability is foreclosed by the court's precedent; and other circuits that have considered the issue raised by this appeal also have determined that federal courts lack subject-matter jurisdiction over an ADEA claim asserted against a federally-recognized Indian tribe. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's decision to grant the Poarch Band’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.