Sunday, November 18, 2007

Federal Judicial Center: Plaintiffs Doing Relatively Well in Federal Employment Discrimination Cases

Federaljudicialcenter Paul Mollica of Daily Developments in EEO Law reports on recent findings from a study on summary judgment practices by the Federal Judicial Center which leads him to conclude:

[I]t appears that far more federal employment discrimination cases are ending on favorable terms (either settlement or avoiding summary judgment) than the anecdotal evidence first suggests.

Paul comes to this conclusion after noting that the FJC study (Table 6) shows:

that 35% of employment discrimination cases culminate in a summary judgment motion. Table 12 reports the bottom-line figure that 9 to 14% of the employment discrimination cases (depending on the district studied) were actually terminated on summary judgment. (One way to square the numbers is that in many instances, the defendant succeeds on dismissing some counts but not others; multiple counts often seek the same relief.).

As Paul emphasizes in his post, "these percentages are based not on all cases filed, but only those that were subject to some kind of dispositve motion."  But nevertheless, the relative lack of success of terminating employment discrimination cases through summary judgment motions is still a real surprise to me.

You can find a link to the Federal Judicial Center study here.  This report was undertaken to determine whether Rule 56 should be amended to create a uniform practice of compelling parties to file statements of uncontested facts.


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Tracked on Nov 19, 2007 4:58:39 AM


One could, of course, conclude that the incidence of obvious discrimination is on the upswing, making it harder for courts to brush the ensuing cases aside and increasing the risk of favorable decisions on the merits.

Posted by: Michael Duff | Nov 20, 2007 9:37:10 AM

I had my employment discrimination case dismissed on summary judgment motion in the New York Federal District Court by a Justice who used to work for the agency that I am suing. I strongly believe that I had issues where a jury could rule in my favor. (Federal standard) The discrimination was based on dispatarate treatment by a supervisor who treated me diffrently then similarly situated employees. The retaliation from my agency was six interviews for diffrent promotions to no avail. The no promotion was a violation of a E.E.O.C. settlement between my employer and I, but the Federal Justice did not believe this to be retaliation. I have an authenticated conversation that I taped between my boss and I where he stated a diffrent version of events on his deposition (purgury) and the Justice did not feel this to be retaliation either. The treatment that I received from the Federal Court was the same as the discrimination from my agency. One who reads the Justice's decision on the summary judgment can tell that it was a hostile decision base on her wording. There are many other variables where this justice should have let a jury decide my case and not her. John Cramer [email protected]

Posted by: John Cramer | Nov 22, 2007 3:31:08 PM

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