Wards Cove Packing Company Case Study

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• Facts of the case: Wards Cove Packing Company had two types of jobs available. There were the unskilled cannery jobs and then there were the non-cannery jobs which were classified as skilled positions. The cannery jobs were filled predominately by nonwhites, and the non-cannery skilled positions were filled with mainly white workers. The cannery and non-cannery jobs were put in separate housing, and the non-cannery positions were paid more than the cannery positions. A group of nonwhite cannery workers filed a suit in the District Court under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Their claim was that they were being discriminated against because of their race. They also claimed that there was no reason that the people being hired for…show more content…
Stevens’ dissent claims that this decision made by the court is sort of backpedaling on what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was meant to uphold, mainly eliminating employment practices that have discriminatory effects. This case, according to Stevens, rejects a lot of which Title VII is supposed to uphold. Stevens brings up a court case called Griggs v. Duke Power Company, in which the ruling was that the company was discriminating against black people. The Duke Power Company had a policy that stated that black people were only allowed to work in the labor department, which was the lowest-paying positions in the entire company. Stevens acknowledges the fact that this case is a little unordinary, but the result of the case means that an employer can undermine an employee’s claim that they are being discriminated against by justifying their actions saying it is necessary for the operation of business. Stevens’ dissent was joined by justice Brennon, Marshall, and Blackmun. Blackmun wrote a dissent, agreeing with Steven about the case, adding that the majority decision made by the court in this case was a huge step backwards in the battle against racial discrimination. Blackmun also mentions that this decision could upset the distribution of the burdens of proof in Title VII disparate-impact cases. This decision was weighted more towards Wards Cove instead of the people being discriminated against because the evidence presented by the plaintiff did not provide enough relevant

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