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Employment Discrimination: U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Below is a list of U.S. Supreme Court cases involving employees' rights and employment discrimination, including links to the full text of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

  • Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971)
    In this case, the Court decided that certain education requirements and intelligence tests used as conditions of employment acted to exclude African-American job applicants, did not relate to job performance, and were prohibited.
  • Cleveland Bd. of Ed. V. LaFleur (1974)
    Found that Ohio public school mandatory maternity leave rules for pregnant teachers violate constitutional guarantees of due process.
  • Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986)
    Found that a claim of "hostile environment" sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that may be brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Johnson v. Transportation Agency (1987)
    The Court decides that a county transportation agency appropriately took into account an employee's sex as one factor in determining whether she should be promoted.
  • Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc. (1987)
    In this case, the Court held that sex discrimination consisting of same-sex sexual harassment can form the basis for a valid claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Burlington Industries, Inc. Ellerth (1998)
    Holding that an employee who refuses unwelcome and threatening sexual advances of a supervisor (but suffers no real job consequences) may recover against the employer without showing the employer is at fault for the supervisor's actions.
  • Faragher v. City of Boca Raton (1998)
    The Court decides that an employer may be liable for sexual discrimination caused by a supervisor, but liability depends on the reasonableness of the employer's conduct, as well as the reasonableness of the plaintiff victim's conduct.
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