478 U.S. 385 (1986), 85-93, Bazemore v. Friday

Docket Nº:No. 85-93
Citation:478 U.S. 385, 106 S.Ct. 3000, 92 L.Ed.2d 315, 54 U.S.L.W. 4972
Party Name:Bazemore v. Friday
Case Date:July 01, 1986
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 385

478 U.S. 385 (1986)

106 S.Ct. 3000, 92 L.Ed.2d 315, 54 U.S.L.W. 4972

Bazemore

v.

Friday

No. 85-93

United States Supreme Court

July 1, 1986

Argued April 22, 1986

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR

THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

The private petitioners -- who include employees of the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service (Extension Service), recipients of its services, members of its Homemaker Clubs, and parents of youths that belong to its 4-H Clubs -- filed suit against various state and local officials in Federal District Court (the United States intervened as a plaintiff), alleging racial discrimination in employment and in provision of services by the Extension Service, in violation of the Constitution and various federal statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court refused to certify various proposed classes and entered judgment for respondents, finding that petitioners had not carried their burden of demonstrating that respondents had engaged in a pattern or practice of racial discrimination. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held:

1. For the reasons stated in the concurring opinion of JUSTICE BRENNAN, the Court of Appeals erred: in holding that, under Title VII, the Extension Service had no duty to eradicate salary disparities between white and black workers that had their origin prior to the date Title VII was made applicable to public employees; in disregarding petitioners' statistical analysis because it reflected pre-Title VII salary disparities; in holding that petitioners' regressions were unacceptable as evidence of discrimination; in ignoring evidence related to salary disparities presented by petitioners in addition to their multiple regression analyses; and in refusing to certify a class of black employees of the Extension Service, although the Court of Appeals was correct in refusing to certify a class of defendant counties.

2. For the reasons stated in the opinion of JUSTICE WHITE, neither the Constitution nor the applicable Department of Agriculture regulations required more than what the District Court and the Court of Appeals found the Extension Service has done to disestablish segregation in its 4-H and Homemaker Clubs.

751 F.2d 662, affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.

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Per curiam opinion.

PER CURIAM.

These cases present several issues arising out of petitioners' action against respondents for alleged racial discrimination in employment and provision of services by the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service (Extension Service). The District Court declined to certify various proposed classes and, after a lengthy trial, entered judgment for respondents in all respects, finding that petitioners had not carried their burden of demonstrating that respondents had engaged in a pattern or practice of racial discrimination. The District Court also ruled against each of the individual plaintiffs' discrimination claims. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 751 F.2d 662 (CA4 1984). We hold, for the reasons stated in the concurring opinion of JUSTICE BRENNAN, that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 253, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the Extension Service had no duty to eradicate

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salary disparities between white and black workers that had their origin prior to the date Title VII was made applicable to public employers;1 that the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding petitioners' statistical analysis because it reflected pre-Title VII salary disparities, and in holding that petitioners' regressions were unacceptable as evidence of discrimination; that the Court of Appeals erred in ignoring evidence presented by petitioners in addition to their multiple regression analyses; that, on remand, the Court of Appeals should examine all of the evidence in the record relating to salary disparities under the clearly erroneous standard; that the reasons given by the Court of Appeals for refusing to certify a class of black employees of the Extension Service do not support a decision not to certify such a class; and that the Court of Appeals was correct in refusing to certify a class of defendant counties.2 We further hold, for the reasons stated in the opinion of JUSTICE WHITE, that neither the Constitution nor the applicable Department of Agriculture regulations require more than what the District Court and

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the Court of Appeals found the Extension Service has done in this case to disestablish segregation in its 4-H and Extension Homemaker Clubs. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of [106 S.Ct. 3003] Appeals is affirmed in part and vacated in part, and the cases are remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.3

It is so ordered.

BRENNAN, J., concurring

JUSTICE BRENNAN, joined by all other Members of the Court, concurring in part.

I

A

The purpose of North Carolina's agricultural extension program, administered through the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service (Extension Service), is to aid in the dissemination of "useful and practical information on subjects

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relating to agriculture and home economics." App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 85-93, p. 7a (hereinafter Pet. App.). The Extension Service is a division of the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University (NCSU). It is headed by a Director who exercises authority over District Extension Chairmen responsible for administering all Extension Service programs within the State's six Extension Service districts. The District Extension Chairmen, in turn, supervise the 100 County Extension Chairmen who are responsible for developing and coordinating all Extension Service activities within their respective counties. The County Extension Chairmen also report to their respective Board of County Commissioners (Board), a unit of local government, on extension programs and on matters relating to budgeting and personnel.

The Extension Service operates in four major areas: home economics, agriculture, 4-H and youth, and community resource development. In both the home economics and 4-H areas, one of the Extension Service's methods entails the establishment of clubs to educate the club members in home economics and other useful and practical skills. The agricultural program educates and encourages farmers to adopt scientific methods and to adjust to changing economic circumstances. The community resource development program emphasizes group action through citizen groups and organizations. Each of these programs is implemented by local agents who are selected for employment jointly by the Extension Service and the county Boards. Agents are divided into three ranks: full agent, associate agent, and assistant agent.

While the three ranks of agents perform essentially the same types of tasks, when an agent is promoted, his responsibilities increase and a higher level of performance is expected of him.

Id. at 17a.

The salaries of all workers are determined jointly by the Extension Service and the Boards. Id. at 33a; CA App.

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223; DX 78, CA App. 1684.1 The federal, state, and county governments all contribute to [106 S.Ct. 3004] these salaries. The Boards and the Extension Service determine jointly the proportionate share of salaries to be paid by the State and by the county. Moreover, all county extension hirings and firings are decided "`jointly between the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service and the Board of County Commissioners.'" Pet. App. 24a (quoting Memorandum of Understanding, DX 78).

The Extension Service has overall responsibility for establishing qualifications for employment in the Service and for screening applicants before recommending qualified applicants to the county commissioners for appointment to vacant or new positions. The Extension Service also prepares and submits an annual budget request to the Board for the county's share of funds for salaries.

Each Board reviews the budget requests from the Extension Service each year and confers with and advises the District and County Extension Chairman concerning Extension Service programs. The Board furnishes the county's share of salaries for extension personnel. In addition, it provides office space and equipment, utilities, telephone, demonstration materials, etc.

Prior to August 1, 1965, the Extension Service was divided into two branches: a white branch and a "Negro branch." Only the "Negro branch" had a formal racial designation. The "Negro branch" was composed entirely of black personnel and served only black farmers, homemakers, and youth. The white branch employed no blacks, but did on occasion serve blacks. On August 1, 1965, in response to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the State merged the two branches of the

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Extension Service into a single organization. However, as the District Court subsequently found, "[the] unification and integration of the Extension Service did not result immediately in the elimination of some disparities which had existed between the salaries of white personnel and black personnel. . . ." Id. at 31a.

B

The private petitioners include employees of the Extension Service, recipients of its services, members of Extension Homemaker Clubs, and parents of 4-H Club youths. Complaint 12. They brought this action in 1971 alleging racial discrimination in employment and in the provision of services on the part of the Extension Service in violation of the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 and 2000d, and 7 U.S.C. § 341 et seq. The defendants, respondents here, were William C. Friday, President of NCSU, and various...

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