Food and Commercial Workers v. Brown Group, Inc., 517 U.S. 544, 15 (1996)

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15



Opinion of the Court

Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U. S. C. 2000e-5(f)(1), expressly authorizes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to sue for backpay on behalf of employees who are victims of employment discrimination, General Telephone Co. of Northwest v. EEOC, 446 U. S. 318 (1980), and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U. S. C. 201 et seq., contains a comparable provision permitting the Secretary of Labor to sue for the recovery of unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation, 29 U. S. C. 216(c). If these provisions for representative actions were generally resulting in nonadversarial actions that failed to resolve the claims of the individuals ultimately interested, their disservice to the core Article III requirements would be no secret. There is no reason to expect that union actions under the WARN Act portend any greater Article III incursions.


Because Congress authorized the union to sue for its members' damages, and because the only impediment to that suit is a general limitation, judicially fashioned and prudentially imposed, there is no question that Congress may abrogate the impediment. As we noted in Warth, prudential limitations are rules of "judicial self-governance" that "Congress may remove . . . by statute." 422 U. S., at 509. It has done so without doubt in this instance.

* * *

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15

Last modified: October 4, 2007