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Total Articles: 6

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.