Two New York federal courts recently issued conflicting opinions concerning one of the most vexing issues in employment law — whether states are immune under the Eleventh Amendment from federal statutory employment discrimination claims brought in federal court.1

In three consolidated cases, Cooper v. New York State Office of Mental Health, Mete v. New York State Office of Mental Retardation; and Davis v. Board of Trustees of the University of Connecticut2 (collectively, the Cooper cases), the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that states are not immune under the Eleventh Amendment from federal court actions alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.3

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