As reported on December 17, 2010, by multiple news outlets, including The Legal Intelligencer, Yahoo! Finance, and BNA's Daily Labor Report, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney attorneys Gregory Miller and Christian Antkowiak successfully argued a precedent-setting appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Legal Intelligencer reported that "a unanimous three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit held that Section 525 of the Bankruptcy Code clearly distinguishes between private employers and governmental units."
While Section 525(a) "explicitly says governments are barred from denying employment on the basis of bankruptcy," similar language is noticeably absent in Section 525(b), which governs private-sector employers.
Miller and Antowiak argued the omission was explicit and Congress intended to distinguish between government units and private employers when considering bankruptcy discrimination.
In her ruling opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge Dolores Sloviter wrote, "Although Section 525(b) was enacted years after Section 525(a), its language regarding employment discrimination is nearly identical to that used in Section 525(a) and Congress chose to place the two subsections adjacent to each other in the Bankruptcy Code."
"We will not contravene congressional intent by implying statutory language that Congress omitted."