Supreme Court Defines “15-Employee” Rule for Job Bias Cases

The Supreme Court has overturned a lower-court decision which dismissed a case in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued a company for illegally firing Darlene Walters. After being denied a promotion in 1990, Walters filed a gender-bias charge with the EEOC against Metropolitan Educational Enterprises and was subsequently fired. Lower courts dismissed the case on the grounds that it was not covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which limits anti-discrimination provisions to companies with 15 or more employees. The Supreme Court ruled on January 14 that employees are counted “for each working day after arrival and before departure” thus requiring Metropolitan to comply with Title VII. Previous rulings have based the number of employees on how many calendar weeks she or he worked.


The Associated Press - January 14, 1996

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