Supreme Court Ruling in CBOCS West v. Humphries Important Victory for Workers Who Experience Job Discrimination
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — May 27, 2008 —
“Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in CBOCS West v. Humphries is an important victory for all workers who experience employment discrimination. The decision is a welcome affirmation that retaliating against an employee who complains about discrimination is illegal and will not be tolerated in the workplace.
The Court rejected a discriminatory employer's effort to discount extensive legal precedent and render Section 1981 a longstanding statute prohibiting race discrimination in contracts ineffective in prohibiting and punishing race discrimination. Instead, the Court upheld the law's ‘well-embedded interpretation’ prohibiting retaliation.
Similar to its most recent retaliation case, Jackson v. Birmingham, 544 US 167 (2005), where it ruled that Title IX’s protections against sex discrimination in education include protection against retaliation, the Court made clear that protection against retaliation is essential to the full and vigorous enforcement of critical rights.
We welcome this ruling, which is fair and just and continues the precedent that needed to be upheld in this case.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.