An employment discrimination case brought to the U.S. Supreme Court by University of Washington School of Law professor Eric Schnapper was unanimously overturned last Tuesday.
The case, Ash v. Tyson Foods, Inc., involved a dispute over whether
white managers can be sued for referring to black employees as "boys."
The Supreme Court overturned the appeals court decision on the premise that
the term "boy" alone was not evidence of discrimination.
The decision, one of the first actions with new Supreme Court Justice
Samuel Alito, was in favor of petitioners Anthony Ash and John Hilton, former
Tyson employees. The two men were passed over for management positions
within Tyson by a white manager who called them "boys". Ash and Hilton
were originally awarded $1.75 million by a jury, but a judge threw out that
decision. The case has been remanded back to the 11th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals in Atlanta and the lower court has been ordered to
reconsider the case.
The court's decision can be read at: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05pdf/05-379.pdf