Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education

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The case of Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education, 476 U.S. 267 (1986), is a case about whether race should be a factor in determining who should be let go in the event of a layoff. This case came together because the Jackson Board of Education agreed to add a clause that would protect minority employees in the event of a layoff to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The question before the court is does this violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and If so, who should be protected the minority teachers or the nonminority teachers with more seniority?
The Facts:
In 1969, the NAACP complained to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission that the Jackson Board of Education “had engaged in various discriminatory practices, including racial discrimination in the hiring of teachers.” The Michigan Civil Rights Commission determined that the allegations in the complaint were justified, and negotiated an adjustment order where the Board agreed to “take affirmative steps to recruit, hire and promote minority group teachers and counselors as positions became available.”
In the years of 1970-1971, a study was made of the representation of minorities on the faculty of the Jackson public schools. A comparison was made of the percentage of minority teachers to the percentage of minority students in the district. Nearly 16% of the student body was made up of minorities, whereas minorities represented only 8.3-8.5% of the faculty. The collective bargaining agreement in effect at that time, mandated that straight seniority would govern (last hired, first fired) in the event of layoffs.
In the spring of 1972, contract negotiations began. The climate for negotiates was i...

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...dges had heard the case and agreed with the dissenting opinions. Therefore, I believe with others that when it comes to layoffs and affirmative action plans, businesses are best to address affirmative action plans with hiring goals and establish other means for determining layoffs such as performance ratings or skills/qualifications.

Works Cited

Cairns, R. J. (1988, 1 1). Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education - A Question of Layoffs. Retrieved 11 18, 2013, from Pace Law Review: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol8/iss1/4
Cornell University Law School. (n.d.). Retrieved 11 18, 2013, from Legal Information Institute : http://www.law.cornell.edu/suspct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0476_0267_ZO.html
Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education. (n.d.). Retrieved 11 18, 2013, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wygant_v._Jackson_Board_of Education
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