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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Press Release - Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

Supreme Court Undermines Workplace Protections in Ricci v. DeStefano
Statement of Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, simpson@civilrights.org
June 29, 2009

"Today's unorthodox Supreme Court decision in Ricci v. DeStefano creates a new, unjustified standard for anti-discrimination protections in the workplace. The ruling does not eliminate the legal responsibility of employers to find non-discriminatory solutions in hiring, promoting, and compensating employees.  However, employers will now face a convoluted minefield when attempting to protect workers from discrimination.

The Court's decision is clearly contrary to Congress' intent in passing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It leaves employers in a quandary, and gives them a disincentive to voluntarily ensure a fair workplace.

Indeed, as Justice Ginsburg says in her dissent, the Court's decision today is so outrageous that it 'will not have staying power.'

It has been suggested by some that this decision should impact the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Today the Court introduced a new legal standard that we believe is flawed, and could not have been applied by the Second Circuit panel that heard the case on appeal."

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