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Hishon v. King & Spaulding

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Citation. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 104 S. Ct. 2229, 81 L. Ed. 2d 59, 1984 U.S. LEXIS 7, 52 U.S.L.W. 4627, 34 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1406, 34 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P34,387 (U.S. May 22, 1984)

Brief Fact Summary. Petitioner alleges that her failure to be promoted to partner at Defendant law firm was due to her gender, and has brought suit under Title VII. The lower court held that Title VII doesn’t apply to law partnerships; she appeals.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Title VII prohibits discrimination by employers in the context of any contractual employer/employee relationship, including law partnerships.

Facts. Petitioner, Elizabeth Hishon, an associate with Defendant law firm, alleges that she was twice passed up for the opportunity to become a partner at the firm, despite the fact that this privilege was granted “as a matter of course”ť for almost all of its other associates. She brought a Title VII claim against the firm for discrimination on the basis of sex, and the District Court concluded that Title VII did not apply to the selection of partners in a law partnership. Petitioner appeals.

Issue. Did the District Court properly dismiss Petitioner’s Title VII discrimination complaint?

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