NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tough Scrutiny For Job-Bias Cases In Appeals Courts

July 16, 2001

Federal appeals courts are more hostile to workers who allege job discrimination than they are to almost all other types of plaintiffs, an analysis of nine years of trial statistics has found.

A study by Theodore Eisenberg and Stewart J. Schwab of the Cornell Law School found that:

  • Forty-four percent of the 266 cases that losing employers appealed were overturned by a federal appellate court.
  • That compared with an average rate of 33 percent for all 2,278 defendants who appealed.
  • Employee job-bias suits are less likely than other types of suits to win at trial to begin with.
  • About 30 percent of the 7,575 such suits that went to trial prevailed in U.S. district court -- well below the average plaintiff win rate of 43 percent in all 57,878 civil trials.

The job-discrimination category includes cases involving age and disabilities discrimination, as well as bias based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

Source: Jess Bravin, "U.S. Courts Are Tough on Job-Bias Suits," Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2001.

For WSJ text (requires subscription)


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