Select Page

Employment Discrimination
University of Toledo School of Law
Ray, Douglas E.

EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION
OUTLINE
 
I. Introduction
          a. Antidiscrimination Laws:
                      1. Prohibit employer’s adverse actions against employees or potential employees BECAUSE that person is a member of                   a protected group.
                      2. Exceptions to At-Will Doctrine (default rule of US employment)
                                  a. Employers can fire for good reason, for bad reason or for no reason at all.
                      3. Philisophy:
                                  a. Libertarian Challenges to Antidiscrimination Laws
                                              1. Laws are not Necessary to Redress Discrimination
                                                          a. John Locke; everyone owns their own labor and should be allowed to contract it freely.
                                                          b. Bork; Employers should be able to associate with (discriminate against) whomever they want
                                              2. “Rational Profit Maximization”
                                                          a. Epstein; Market forces correct discriminatory policies.
                                                          b. “Rational” employers; act to maximize profits hiring non-majority workers b/c they will be better workers than                                                    the least-desired majority workers
                                                          c. Discrimination that persists is rational:
                                                                    1. Economically advantageous for workers to work with like-workers.
                                                                    2. Easier/Cheaper to manage like-workers because they all want the same things
                                  b. Responses to the Challenges
                                              1. Economic Answers
                                                          a. Imperfections in the market; South prior to 1964.
                                                                    1. When discrimination is pervasive, there will be no competition for a minority group.
                                              2. Non-economic costs of Discrimination
                                                          a. Williams; emphasizes Negative effect discrimination has on victim of discrimination.
          b. Antidiscrimination Statutes:
                      1. Title VII:
                                  a. General:
                                              1. Prohibits discrimination in employment, based on race, color, creed, sex, national origin in all terms, conditions                                                     and privileges of employment. 
                                              2. Allows jury trials.
                                              3. Allows punitive damages.
                                  b. Adverse Actions that trigger Title VII:
                                              1. Not promoted.
                                              2. Lateral transfer with no loss of pay not adverse.
                                              3. Must be Material or Adverse.
                                              4. Mentoring opportunities.
                                  c. Plaintiffs Covered:
                                              1. Individuals:
                                                          a. Job applicants
                                                          b. Former employees
                                                                    1. Exception: Does not generally apply to Independent Contractors.
                                  d. Defendants Covered:
                                              1. Employers
                                              2. Unions
                                              3. Employment Agencies 
                                                          a. Employers are liable for subordinate’s actions.
                                                                    1. Individual Supervisors are not liable to Title VII
                                                                    2. Title VII can’f force US companies to violate laws overseas
                                              4. Anyone who controls job opportunities.
                                                          a. Religious organizations usually are covered.
                                              5. States and their political subdivisions
                                                          a. Fed Govt is not covered by Title VII but something else.
                                  e. Defendants NOT COVERED:
                                              1. Private membership clubs
                                              2. Indian Tribes
                                              3. Employers of fewer than 15 or more employees for each working day for at least 20 weeks in either the previous          

               5. Includes up to 2 years backpay.
                      2. ADEA (1967):
                                  a. Applies to 20 workers or more
                                  b. Protects older but not younger workers (Difference w/ T7)
                                  c. Is 1991 Imported into ADEA? Question is still Open.
                                  d. Reverse Age Discrimination in ADEA:
                                              1. Ex:             Fired 41 year old in favor of 58 year old (both protected)
                                                                                Split on When younger member of protected class replaces P, if P can still sue.
                                                                                Difference in age matters in some circuits, doesn’t in others.
                      3. ADA:
                      4. Equal Pay Act:
                      5. §1981:
                                  a. Only covers race discrimination and alienage discrimination.
                                              1. Race
                                                          a. 1981 defines race as what it meant in 1860’s.
                                              2. Alienage
                                                          a. Alienage pertains to whether you are a citizen.
                                                          b. National origin pertains to whether you/or your family came from a different country.
                                              3. Does not apply to age or gender discrimination.
                                  b. Advantages of 1981:
                                              1. Covers small employers.
                                              2. You don’t have to file w/ an Administrative Agency.
                                              3. No statutory caps on damages.
                                                4. Not just limited to employees and potential employees but also includes partnerships.