Disagreeing with four other circuits, the Ninth Circuit finds that the definition of “employer” in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 USC 630(a)) is clear.  Under the statutory definition, one category includes all private employers engaged in commerce and employing 20 or more employees.  The definition “also” includes a second category of employers:  a state, or a political subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the state or its subdivision.  The statutory “also” links these two separate categories of employers.  So the 20 employee minimum applies only to the first category, in which it appears, not to the second category where it does not.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (O’Scannlain, J.); June 19, 2017; 2017 WL 2622775