American Association for Justice
2008 Annual Convention,
July 14, 2008
Employment Discrimination Law Update
|I. The Statistics|
|13,107 new EEO Cases were filed in Federal district courts in the twelve months ending Sept. 30,|
2006, compared to 24,174 in 1997. The striking figure is that there has been a 45.8% decline since 1997 in the number of new fair employment cases filed in Federal district courts.
|II. The EEOC|
|From FY 1997 to FY 2007, there were significant differences in the types of discrimination charges|
filed. Equal Pay Act charges declined 27.9%, and ADA charges declined 2.1%. Race discrimination charges increased only 4.5% and sex discrimination charges increased only 0.4%. By contrast, age discrimination charges increased 21.0%, national origin discrimination charges increased 40.0%, retaliation charges under all statutes increased 46.5%, and religious discrimination charges increased 68.5%.
|III. The Constitution, Statutes, and Rules|
|A. The First Amendment|
|Charles v. Grief, __ F.3d __, 2008 WL 788618 (5th Cir. March 26, 2008) (No. 07-50537),|
affirmed the lower court’s denial of qualified immunity to the defendant official of the Texas Lottery Commission, as to plaintiff’s § 1983 claim that he was fired in retaliation for complaining of racial discrimination and mismanagement by the Commission. The court held that plaintiff complained as a private citizen, not as a Commission employee. The case provides a useful road map for developing the facts—where available—to meet the Garcetti test.
|B. The First and Fourteenth Amendments as to the Ministerial Exception|
|Rweyemamu v. Cote, __ F.3d __, 2008 WL 746822 (2d Cir. March 21, 2008) (No. 06-1041-cv),|
affirmed the dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of the plaintiff priest’s promotional and termination claims against the Bishop of his diocese. The court stated at p. *8 that “our limited precedent to date supports the following propositions: (1) Title VII and the ADEA are not inapplicable to religious organizations as a general matter; (2) we will permit lay employees—but perhaps not religious employees—to bring discrimination suits against their religious employers; and (3) even when we permit suits by lay employees, we will not subject to examination the genuineness of a proffered religious reason for an employment action.”
|C. 42 U.S.C. § 1981|
|Application to Municipalities|
|Arendale v. City of Memphis, __ F.3d __, 2008 WL 731226 (6th Cir. March 20, 2008) (No. 07-5230),|
affirmed the grant of summary judgment to defendant on plaintiff’s § 1981 claim, holding that § 1981 does not allow a private cause of action against municipalities. Commen