Business Insurance: High Court Lowers Bar on Discrimination Suits

News / May 30, 2010

Cleveland partner Greg Mersol was quoted in the May 30, 2010, Business Insurance article, "High Court Lowers Bar on Discrimination Suits."

According to the article, the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision permitting a discrimination case by black Chicago firefighter applicants to proceed could lead to more claims and larger awards against employers and also makes it more difficult for employers to win summary judgment to dismiss such cases. The court's ruling focused on the statute of limitations to file claims in disparate impact discrimination cases. Disparate impact is an employment policy or practice that, while neutral on its face, adversely affects a particular protected group, according to the article.

Mersol said the ruling means "more and more of these claims are going to survive an easy dismissal on statute of limitations grounds, and you're going to have to defend these cases on the merit." Mersol also said that employers need to make sure any test "is tailored to the job and does not have a disparate impact on minorities."