Contesting Workplace Discrimination in Court: Characteristics and Outcomes of Federal Employment Discrimination Litigation 1987-2003
55 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2008
Date Written: October 29, 2008
This report summarizes the basic characteristics of these cases based on a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of employment discrimination litigation (hereafter EDL) for the time period 1987-2003. We explored the patterns, characteristics, trends, and outcomes of 1788 randomly selected cases from seven federal judicial districts. We considered a wide range of case characteristics and variables, including:
* Type of discrimination claimed (race, sex, age, national origin, disability, etc.) * Alleged discriminatory issues or practices (hiring, firing, promotion, sexual harassment, etc.) * Case comparisons across judicial districts * Plaintiff characteristics (race, sex, age, etc.) * Plaintiff representation (single or multiple plaintiffs, class-actions, public interest litigation support, etc.) * Case outcomes (settlement, trial, etc.) * Over-time trends in EDL case characteristics and outcomes
Each of the nearly 2,000 cases has been coded for hundreds of variables, but this report summarizes and presents the data in the most straightforward and understandable terms possible. Our findings are generally depicted as simple graphics or figures rather than tables loaded with raw numbers and percentages. Also consistent with the purpose of the report to describe the caseload simply, we leave formal tests of statistical significance for future analysis.
Keywords: civil litigation, courts, employment discrimination, employment civil rights
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