SHRM Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court case on Discrimination

Mar 30, 2009

Alexandria, Va. - On Wednesday, March 25, 2009, SHRM filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Ricci v. DeStefano. In the case, the City of New Haven declined to certify promotional exam results for fire department captains and lieutenants because too few racial minorities would be promoted.

When New Haven decided not to certify the test results, a group of 17 white and one Hispanic firefighter claimed the City’s refusal to certify violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by focusing on the race of the employees who would be promoted rather than whether the tests were job-related.

SHRM’s brief argues that an employer should not be held liable for race discrimination under one section of Title VII for trying to fulfill another Title VII obligation to address situations that result in a disproportionate racial impact in the workplace.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case in April 2009.


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