The Wall Street Journal today reports on job-discrimination cases in the federal courts, highlighting a recent study published in the Harvard Law & Policy Review (HLPR), the official journal of ACS. The study by Stewart Schwab, dean of the Cornell Law School, and Kevin Clermont, a Cornell Law School professor, finds that “the federal courts disfavor employment discrimination plaintiffs, who are now forswearing use of those courts.”
The Journal article notes, “A battery of recent studies show that employees who sue over discrimination lose at a higher rate in federal court than other types of plaintiffs.” The article cites the HLPR study’s finding that from “1979 through 2006, federal plaintiffs won 15 percent of job-discrimination cases. By comparison, in all other civil cases, the win rate was 51 percent.” Schwab tells the Journal that, “Judges demand more of discrimination cases, because there’s such a high likelihood of losing.”
The study by Schwab and Clermont was also highlighted last fall by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on employment discrimination cases in the federal courts. Leahy (right) asked the panelists to elaborate on the study’s findings that employment discrimination cases have increasingly fared poorly in the federal courts.
In September, ACS hosted a discussion of the study, in which Schwab participated. Video of the panel discussion is available here. Additionally, Schwab discussed portions of the study in an exclusive interview with ACSBlog.