We’ve organized important employment cases to help workers know their rights. The cases below highlight workers’ rights related to sex and gender discrimination, race discrimination, age discrimination, and unfair labor practices.
Cases Addressing Employment Discrimination Legal Standards
The Supreme Court ruled in Griggs that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if an employment test disparately impacts minority groups, the employer must demonstrate that the tests is “reasonably related” to the job for which the test is required.
In McDonnell Douglas, the Supreme Court set forth the standard for determining whether a plaintiff alleging discrimination is entitled to a trial.
In Alexander, the Supreme Court held that an employee who submits a discrimination claim to arbitration under a collective bargaining agreement is not precluded from suing her employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the Court, the right to be free of unlawful employment discrimination is a statutory right and cannot be bargained away by the union and employer.
The Supreme Court decided in Albemarle that, after a court has found an employer guilty of discrimination, the wronged employee is presumed to be entitled to back pay.
Age Discrimination Cases
Ohio Public Employees Retirement System v. Betts, 492 U.S. 158 (1989)
In Betts, the Supreme Court analyzed an employee’s claim under the Age Discrimination Employment Act (known as the ADEA). The employee alleged that her benefits plan discriminated against her based on age. But the Supreme Court held that the ADEA does not prohibit discrimination in employee benefit plans unless the plan is a means to discriminate in some “non-fringe” benefit of employment.
Sex Discrimination Cases
In Meritor, the Supreme Court found that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from sexual harassment.
The Supreme Court found in Price Waterhouse that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on their nonconformity with gender norms.
In Harris, the Supreme Court held that a plaintiff need not show concrete psychological harm to prevail in a sexual harassment case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.