Glossary of Human Resource Mgmt - HR Case Law
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- Griggs v. Duke Power (1971)
- Test for hiring cannot be used unless job-related; organizations must show evidence of job-relatedness; not necessary to establish intent to discriminate.
- McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (1973)
- Employer’s test device constitutes prima facie case of racial discrimination under four different criteria.
- Albemarle Paper v. Moody (1975)
- Need to establish evidence that test is related to content of the job; could use job analysis to do so but not evidence from global performance ratings made by supervisors.
- Washington v. Davis (1976)
- When a test procedure is challenged under constitutional law, intent to discriminate must be established; no need toestablish intent if filed under Title VII, just show effects.
- Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978)
- Reverse discrimination not allowed; race, however, can be used in selection decisions; affirmative action programs permissible when prior discrimination established.
- United Steelworkers v. Weber (1979)
- Supreme Court ruled that the affirmative action plan did not violate Title VII since it included voluntary quotas.
- Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986)
- Supreme Court held that sexual harassment that alters an individual’s terms and conditions of employment violates Title VII of Civil Rights Act. Court also ruled that common law principles should be applied to guide lower courts in determining employer liability. How these principles are to be applied was later defined in Faragher and Ellerth.
- Johnson v. Santa Clara County Transportation Agency (1987)
- Supreme Court ruled that the county was justified in giving a job to a woman who scored two points less on an exam than a man; county had an affirmative action plan that was flexible, temporary, and designed to correct the imbalance of white males in the workforce.
- School Board of Nassau v. Arline (1987)
- Court ruled that persons with contagious diseases could be covered by the Rehabilitation Act.
- Martin v. Wilks (1988)
- Supreme Court agreed that white firefighters were entitled to sue the city for reverse discrimination.
- City of Richmond v. J. A. Croson Company (1989)
- Supreme Court ruled that the rigid numerical quota system was unconstitutional; city had not laid proper groundwork and had not identified or documented discrimination.
- Johnson Controls (1990)
- Supreme Court held that decisions about the welfare of future children must be left to the parents who conceive, bear, support, and raise them rather than to the employers who hire their parents.
- Electromation, Inc., v. NLRB (1992)
- NLRB held that action committees at Electromation were illegal “labor organizations” because management created and controlled the groups and used them to deal with employees on working conditions in violation of the NLRA.
- E. I. Dupont & Company v. NLRB (1993)
- Board concluded that Dupont’s six safety committees and fitness committee were employer-dominated labor organizations and that Dupont dominated the formation and administration of one of them in violation of the NLRA.
- Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. (1993)
- Supreme Court ruled that in a sexual harassment case the plaintiff does not have to prove concrete psychological harm to establish a Title VII violation.
- St. Mary’s Honor Center v. Hicks (1993)
- Supreme Court clarified the role of the burden-shifting analysis used in employment discrimination cases. Court emphasized that Title VII plaintiff bears ultimate burden of persuasion. Simply proving that employer’s asserted legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons are false does not entitle plaintiff to prevail; plaintiff must also show that discrimination was real reason for employer’s actions.
- Taxman v. Board of Education of Piscataway (1993)
- District court held that a school board could not use racial diversity as an “educational goal” or as a justification for an affirmative action plan granting racial preferences in layoffs where there was no evidence of past bias against racial minorities.
- McKennon v. Nashville Banner Publishing Co. (1995)
- Supreme Court held that evidence of misconduct acquired after the decision to terminate cannot free an employer from liability, even if the misconduct would have justified terminating the employee.
- Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Ellerth v. Burlington Northern Industries (1998)
- Court rulings that distinguished between supervisor harassment that results in tangible employment action and that which does not. When harassment results in tangible employment action, the employer is liable.
- Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Service, Inc. (1998)
- Ruled that same-gender harassment is actionable under Title VII.
- Circuit City Stores v. Adams (2000)
- Ruled that a pre-hire employment application requiring that all employment disputes be settled by arbitration was enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act.
- M. B. Sturgis, Inc. (2000)
- NLRB returned to its original position, which held that employees obtained from a labor supplier cannot be included in a unit of permanent employees of the employer to which they are assigned unless all parties consent to the bargaining arrangement.
- NLRB v. Weingarten, Inc. (2000 and 2004)
- On June 15, 2004, NLRB ruled by a 3-2 vote that employees who work in a non unionized workplace are not entitled to have a coworker accompany them to an interview with their employer, even if the affected employee reasonably believes that the interview might result in discipline. This decision effectively reversed the July 2000 decision of the Clinton board, which had extended Weingarten rights to non union employees.
- Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)
- Supreme Court ruled that the diversity of a student body is a compelling state interest that can justify the use of race in university admissions as long as the admissions policy is “narrowly tailored” to achieve this goal; University of Michigan did not make this showing for its undergraduate program (the Gratz case), but the law school admissions program (the Grutter case) satisfied this standard.
- General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc., v. Cline (2004)
- Supreme Court ruled that the federal age discrimination law does not protect younger workers—even if they are over 40—from workplace decisions that favor older workers.
- Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders (2004)
- Supreme Court held that in the absence of a tangible employment action, the Ellerth/Faragher affirmative defense is available in a constructive discharge claim to an employer whose supervisors are charged with harassment.
- Smith v. Jackson, Mississippi (2005)
- Supreme Court held that, like Title VII, the ADEA authorizes recovery on a disparate impact theory.
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