Walters v. Metropolitan Ed. Enterprises, Inc., 519 U.S. 202, 11 (1997)

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Opinion of the Court

We agree with petitioners that the ultimate touchstone under 2000e(b) is whether an employer has employment relationships with 15 or more individuals for each working day in 20 or more weeks during the year in question.

The parties' stipulation concerning the number of weeks in 1990 during which Metropolitan satisfied the 15-employee threshold using the payroll approach does not correspond precisely to the counting method petitioners have advocated here. The stipulation was arrived at by counting the number of employees on the payroll in each week of 1990, without regard to whether these employees were employed on each working day of the week. However, subtracting the nine weeks in which Metropolitan experienced midweek employment changes in 1990 from the 47 weeks of that year in which, according to the parties' stipulation, Metropolitan had employment relationships with 15 or more employees, leaves 38 weeks in which Metropolitan satisfied the 15-employee threshold under the interpretation we adopt. Therefore, Metropolitan was an "employer" within the meaning of 2000e(b) for purposes of petitioners' retaliatory-discharge claim.

* * *

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

It is so ordered.

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