To its great credit, the U.S. Supreme Court has become ?increasingly ?precise ?in? recent ?years about its use of the term ?jurisdictional.? Previously neither it nor other courts had been so careful.?? The question in this case was whether the 15-employee threshold for coverage under Title?? VII?? is?? jurisdictional?? or?? rather?? just?? a necessary ?element ?of ?the ?plaintiff?s ?claim? of relief. ?If an issue is ?jurisdictional? , i.e., goes to the ?federal ?court?s ?subject ?matter? jurisdiction, then it can be raised at any time and cannot be waived.?? In this case, after the plaintiff won at trial, the employer asserted for the first time that it did not have 15 employees. ?The Fifth Circuit said the 15 employee threshold was jurisdictional and overturned the verdict. The Supreme Court unanimously reversed in an opinion written by Justice?? Ginsburg.?? More?? generally,?? the?? Court adopted a rule that a threshold limits on a statute?s scope will be treated as jurisdictional only where Congress expressly says so.? ?Arbaugh v. Y&K Corp., No. 04-944 (Feb. 22, 2006).
15 Employee Threshold Is Not Jurisdictional Under Title VII
Feb 22, 2006