RULES OF EVIDENCE IN TITLE VII CASES

Two definitions of discrimination have emerged from Title VII litigation. This is of extreme importance to one's understanding of a charge of illegal discrimination, since the rules of evidence are dependent on the type of discrimination alleged, disparate treatment or disparate impact. The purpose of this exercise is to give you practice in classifying an incident as either being an instance of disparate impact or treatment, and then making a reasoned judgment based on an understanding of the rules of evidence.

A disgruntled Native American applicant, N. White Dove, has brought a charge of discrimination after applying for a position and being rejected. You, the personnel manager (PM), must listen to the complaint and then discuss the situation with the Vice-President (VP) of Human Resource Management. You will be asked to make a recommendation in the best interests of the company, based on your understanding of the law and rules of evidence. Assume all statements made are factual.


Scenario I Scene I

NWD: I'm here to press a claim against your company for unlawful discrimination. I applied for a job two weeks ago and was not hired even though qualified.

PM: What position did you apply for?

NWD: Sanitation engineer?

PM: We haven't had such an opening since 1984.

NWD: Never mind. I have evidence of discrimination. These are figures from your own Affirmative Action report and they show that only 30% of your engineers are female and only 22% are American Indian, as am I.

PM: Yes, these are our figures. How did you get them?

NWD: Never mind. What I want is reasonable. I only want a job as Sanitation Engineer at the top pay grade possible.

PM: What if we can't comply?

NWD: I'll file a Class Action and ask for back pay for myself and all persons who may have been similarly affected. I figure about a two million dollar settlement if you play hardball.

PM: I'll talk it over with the VP.

Scene II

PM: So this guy is threatening us with a Title VII suit.

VP: Tell me about it.

PM: (Tells him). Well....

VP: Do you want to hire the guy? Would you hire him if this suit weren't being held over your head?

PM: Hell, no! This guy is really creepy; you should see him.

VP: Well, make a recommendation and justify it with some good information. I don't want this costing us a bundle. What do you say?

MS./MR. PM, WHAT IS YOUR RECOMMENDATION? HIRE?
  
YES____   NO_____

JUSTIFY IN TERMS OF RULES OF EVIDENCE.


Scenario II Scene I

NWD: I'm here to press a claim against your company for unlawful discrimination. I applied for a job six weeks ago and was not hired even though qualified.

PM: What was the position?

NWD: Sanitation engineer.

PM: Yes, we did have a position, but it was filled.

NWD: Yea. Well, why wasn't I hired?

PM: You failed the Savvy Survey of Sanitation Engineering Practices.

NWD: I understand American Indians don't do very well on that particular test.

PM: Yes, I think that's accurate; you people don't do real well on that particular test.

NWD: Listen, Goldilocks, I want a job or I'm going to court.

PM: Let me think about it, slim.

Scene II

The PM and the VP discuss the issue.

PM: The creep was really an undesirable candidate. I'm really glad we had a good reason for showing him the door.

VP: All I want to know is what happens if this thing goes to court. Will we win? If you expect to keep those goldie locks, we'd better.

MS./MR. PM. WHAT IS YOUR RECOMMENDATION? HIRE? YES_____ NO______ JUSTIFY IN TERMS OF RULES OF EVIDENCE


Scenario III Scene I

NWD: I'm here to press a claim against your company for unlawful discrimination. I applied for a job six weeks ago and was not hired even though qualified.

PM: What was the position?

NWD: Sanitation Engineer.

PM: Yes, we did have a position, but it was filled.

NWD: No, it wasn't filled. My wife's, sister's, brother's, cousin who married my aunt works in that department and she told me it still was opened. So don't insult me with untruths.

PM: Oh yes, you're right. But we just decided to eliminate the position as a cost cutting measure. By the way, what do you want from us?

NWD: I want the job. That' s all.

PM: But I told you, there no longer is a job.

NWD: Then I'll see you in Court.

PM: Hold on. Let me talk it over with my boss. I'll call you within the week.

Scene II

The PM discusses the issue with the VP.

PM: So this guy is threatening us with a Title VII suit.

VP: Tell me about it.

PM: (Tells him about it.)

VP: Do you want to hire the guy? Would you hire him if this suit weren't being held over our head ?

PM: Hell, no! The guy looks like a Hoosier.

VP: Well, make a recommendation and justify it with some good information. If we go to court and lose, I can promise you a new job ... if you're lucky enough to find one.

MS./MR. PM. WHAT IS YOUR RECOMMENDATION? HIRE? YES____ NO______ JUSTIFY IN TERMS OF RULES OF EVIDENCE.

  • Business 340 Syllabus

  • E-mail: Duane.Dove@sonoma.edu