Select Page

Employment Discrimination
University of California, Hastings School of Law
Bornstein, Stephanie

Class grade: A
Professor Bornstein Spring 2012
Employment Discrimination Stat Interp
I.                   EQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE
A.                Equal Treatment “formal”: not a factor/color blind
B.                 Equal Opportunity “substantive”: take race into acct, treat diff
C.                 Employer: engaged in commerce 15+ee on payroll for 20+wks/calendar year  [§701b] **ADEA req 20+
1.                  Ee must prove
2.                  Joint Er doctrine: try to use parent co. to meet 15
D.                Employment Practice: hire, fire, compensation, privileges of emp or limit, segregate, classify apps/ees  [§703a] E.                 Employee: indv employed by er   [§701f] F.                  Race vs Color
1.                  Race: physical + ethnicity, culture, perception, ancestry (some overlap w/ nat org)
a)                  ST. FRANCIS V AL-KHAZRAJI ⇒ppl r protected from disc classes of ppl disc cuz of ancestry/ethnic characteristics
(1)               Broader than b/w, Iraqi is scientifically cauc irrelv
2.                  Color: diff from race, more physical
a)                  Ex: light vs dark skin
3.                  Perception ⇒ actionable if ppl disc based on wat think u r
4.                  Intersectionality: multiple identities   (some courts rec)
a)                  Ex: black women (judged for not working, white for working)
G.                Enforcement Schemes
1.                  Administrative Exhaustion (T7, ADA, NOT epa)
H.                Remedies “make whole relief”
1.                  Equitable
a)                  reinstatement
2.                  Compensatory
a)                  Back pay—point of judgment to inide
b)                  Front pay—(alt to reinstatement) point of judgment to new job
c)                  Emo distress—non pay related injuries u suffer
3.                  Punitive (liquidated—ADEA, EPA)
a)                  Reckless or malice indiff
4.                  Attorney fees
1.                  Generally
a)                  treatment differently cuz of race, outward showing
b)                  parallels equal treatment
c)                  *REQUIRES INTENT*
2.                  PFC
a)                  Ee Burden of Proof (persuasion on Π)
(1)               Π member of protected class
(a)               **this is where u decide wat kinda discrim gonna go with…latino man ⇒ race or NO?
(2)               Π qualified or performing adequately
(a)               Doesn’t have to be best qualified
(3)               Π experienced adverse emp action (despite qualifications rejected)
(4)               Under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination (variable by jdx)→ comparator evi
b)                  Burden Shifts to Er to prove LNDR
(1)               Δ Burden of production only [Burdine] (a)               Don’t need to show by perpond of evi (pfc burden already really low for Π)
(i)                 Δ doesn’t need to persuade that it was actually motivated by the proffered reasons→ just raise genuine issue of fact as to whether discrimed against Π  [Hicks] (2)               Does not need to maximize minority hiring opps, only must be nondiscrim [Furnco] (a)               Doesn’t need to be best kind of hiring practice so long as Δ articulates someeee legit reason for it (ex: only hire ppl thru refs/networking—cuz safety hazards of the work)
c)                  Burden Shifts back to Ee to prove: PRETEXT
(1)               Burden of persuasion on Π
(a)               Look to policies, procedures, statistics
(i)                 Ex: if in McD only rehired white ppl
(ii)               If job went to person is same protected class → doesn’t necessarily bar claim
(iii)             Honest Belief Rule:  Ers good-faith, mistaken belief in the correctness of its employment decision does not prove pretext
(a)                 Example – Er fires EE for being late, but EE is able to show he was on time
(2)               Disproving LNDR may be enough for, but does not require, finding of ultimate inference of discrim [Reeves] d)                  Key Cases Est B Shifting
(1)               McDonnell-Douglas→Π black laid off in the course of a general reduction in work force.  Protested that his discharge and staged a “lock-in.”  Π  applied again for posted job and Δ  said they did not hire him because of his participation in the lock-in →nothing in T7 compels employer to hire someone who has engaged in unlawful activity against it
(2)               Furnco (1978)→ qualified black bricklayers never hired by construction co cuz Δ only hired ppl already knew/were fully trained—that’s an LNDR, statute doesn’t require affirmative action
(a)               “courts are generally less competent than employers to restructre business practices, and unless mandated to do so by congress they should not attempt it”
(3)               Burdine (1981)→ 3 emps didn’t get along, fired the

(1)               Determining relevant labor market critical to stat analysis ⇒ compare w/ composition Ers workforce
(a)               Hazelwood→ using St. Louis county vs St. Louis including the city changes the SD from 1.72 to 6.5 (not a chance)
(2)               Statistical significance ⇒ chance has been ruled out as a disparity→ 2+SD
d)                  **Nothing in T7 requires an employer to mirror the demographics of the general population (Teamsters)
(1)               but T7 does require that absent some other evidence, stats can raise a presumption that there is discrimination on the part of employees
e)                  PFC per Teamsters & Hazelwood
(1)               Ee PFC: EE shows that Er's regular practices r discriminatory using stats and anecdotal evi/testimony to create inference of discrim
(2)               Er LNDR: Er rebuts inference of disc by offering legit reasons for disparity challenging Ee's stats (as innaccurate, incomplete, focused on the wrong measure etc) and/or introducing alternative stats. If Er raises a lack of qualification or interest, Er must show that an actual difference exists cannot just raise doubts
(3)               Ee bears ultimate burden of persuasion that Er's practices or policies are discrim
5.                  RETALIATION
a)                  PFC It is unlawful employment practice to discriminate cuz an individual has:
(1)               Opposed any practice made unlawful under the act (Opposition Clause) OR
(2)                Made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the Act (Participation Clause)
(3)               “person aggrieved” with standing to sue is an Ee, an applicant, or per Robinson—a former Ee
(a)               Per Thompson includes a victim of 3rd party reprisal “w/in the zone of interests protected by T7” under an objective but contextual test—eg likely includes “firing a close family member” but not a “milder reprisal on a mere acquaintance”