join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Total Articles: 10

Supreme Court Holds that Claims for Intentional Discrimination Under Section 1981 Must Meet “But For” Causation Test

Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act prohibits intentional race discrimination in all forms of contracting including employment. Lower courts have split as to whether a § 1981 plaintiff must prove that race was only one motivating factor among several, or whether a plaintiff must allege and prove that race was the “but for” cause of the challenged decision. In Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owed Media, et al, the Supreme Court recently resolved this split, holding that a plaintiff must prove that race was the “but for” reason for the decision.

Supreme Court: § 1981 Suits Require Plaintiffs to Show Bias is ‘But For’ Cause of Injury

Resolving a split among the federal circuit courts on the issue, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that a plaintiff bringing suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 bears the burden of showing that the plaintiff’s race was a “but for” cause of his its injury, and that this burden exists throughout the life of the case, including at the pleading stage. Comcast Corp. v. National Assn. of African American-Owned Media, No. 18-1171 (Mar. 23, 2020).

Supreme Court Clarifies That But-For Causation Standard Applies to Section 1981 Claims Throughout Pendency of Litigation

In a landmark decision delivered on March 23, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a but-for causation standard applies to claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, the Civil Rights Act of 1886, and that this standard applies throughout the lifetime of the litigation, including the initial pleading stage. See Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, No. 18-1171, __ U.S. __ (2020).

First Circuit Refuses to Recognize a Section 1981 Private Right of Action for Damages Against State Actors

In a recent decision, Buntin v. City of Boston, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that there is no implied private right of action for damages against state actors under 42 U.S.C. Section 1981. In reaching that conclusion, the court of appeals determined that Congress, when it amended the statute in 1991, did not overrule the Supreme Court of the United States’ 1989 holding in Jett v. Dallas Independent School District, 491 U.S. 701 (1989), that Section 1981 affords no such right of action and that 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 is the exclusive source for federal damages actions against state actors alleged to have violated Section 1981. The First Circuit’s ruling in Buntin is consistent with that of eight other federal appellate courts, and the Ninth Circuit remains the only federal appeals court to have held that Congress overruled Jett by amending the statute.

Section 1981 Race Discrimination Claim Cannot Survive Without a Contractual Interest as its Basis.

Under certain circumstances, 42 U.S.C. §1981 (Section 1981) creates a federal cause of action for individuals claiming intentional racial discrimination. To support such a claim, a plaintiff must allege that he is a member of a racial minority, and that he was discriminated against within a particular group of activities set forth in the statute. Those activities include the right to “make and enforce contracts . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens.” The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal recently dismissed the claims of a physician who claimed that the suspension of his medical staff privileges violated rights protected by Section 1981, holding that such privileges did not constitute contractual rights as defined by the statute.

Section 1981 race discrimination claim cannot survive without a contractual interest as its basis.

Under certain circumstances, 42 U.S.C. §1981 (Section 1981) creates a federal cause of action for individuals claiming intentional racial discrimination. To support such a claim, a plaintiff must allege that he is a member of a racial minority, and that he was discriminated against within a particular group of activities set forth in the statute. Those activities include the right to “make and enforce contracts . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens.” The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal recently dismissed the claims of a physician who claimed that the suspension of his medical staff privileges violated rights protected by Section 1981, holding that such privileges did not constitute contractual rights as defined by the statute

Independent Contractor May Bring Section 1981 Race Discrimination Claim.

Courts typically have dismissed discrimination claims under Title VII if those claims were made by an independent contractor, rather than by an “employee” of the company. However, 42 U.S.C. §1981 (“Section 1981”), which prohibits racial discrimination in the formation of contracts, states that “all persons” shall have the same right “to make and enforce contracts as is enjoyed by white citizens.” In a case of first impression for the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that court has followed prior decisions of three sister-appellate courts in holding that an independent contractor may sue for race discrimination under Section 1981.

More Retaliation Claims On The Horizon.

The U.S. Supreme Court has further expanded the ability of employees to sue for retaliation - an area of employment law that has exploded in recent years. Specifically, the Court held that a federal statute enacted shortly after the Civil War granting all citizens the right to enter into and enforce con-tracts (referred to as "Section 1981") can be used to bring a claim of employment-related retaliation.

High Court Allows Workers to Sue for Retaliation Under Section 1981.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court further expanded the ability of employees to sue for retaliation – an area of employment law that has exploded in recent years. Specifically, the Court held that a federal statute enacted shortly after the Civil War granting all citizens the right to enter into and enforce contracts (commonly referred to as "Section 1981") can be used to bring a claim of employment-related retaliation.

Supreme Court Confirms: Section 1981 Includes Retaliation Claims.

The Supreme Court delivered its decision in CBOCS West, Inc. v. Humphries holding that Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 unequivocally includes claims of retaliation by those pursuing race and color claims under the statute. The Court's ruling has significant consequences for employers, including a longer period of time in which aggrieved employees may file suit, exposure to uncapped damages, as well as providing federal remedies for a greater number of employees who, until this decision, may not have been covered by federal anti-retaliation statutes.
tempobet tipobet giriş