Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,500+ case briefs...

Smith v. City of Jackson

United States Supreme Court
544 U.S. 228 (2005)


In 1999, the City of Jackson, Mississippi (City) adopted a new pay plan giving raises to all city employees. The City did so to attract and retain qualified employees, offer competitive wages, and bring salaries up to levels comparable to those paid by other regional public agencies. Under the pay plan, police officers and police dispatchers with less than five years of employment received proportionately higher raises than did their more senior counterparts. The City apportioned police department raises based on an employee’s status in one of five basic positions and calculated the amounts based in part on comparable positions throughout the Southeast. All police department employees received a raise of at least 2 percent. Higher ranking police officers received raises that represented a smaller percentage of their existing salaries, but were higher in dollar amount, because their overall salaries were higher than those of more junior police department employees. Age did not affect raise determinations. The highest ranking officials tended to be over the age of 40. A number of police and public safety officers over 40 (plaintiffs) sued the City under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-34, alleging they unlawfully received lower raises than younger officers. The court of appeals held that the ADEA does not authorize disparate-impact claims. The plaintiffs petitioned for review by the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)

Concurrence (Scalia, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 410,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,500 briefs, keyed to 223 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial