EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions

Chamber asks Eleventh Circuit to affirm district court's dismissal of EEOC's complaint

U.S. Chamber's Position: 

In its brief, the Chamber asked the Eleventh Circuit to affirm the judgment of the district court  which dismissed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ("EEOC") complaint for failure to state a plausible claim of intentional race discrimination under Title VII.  The brief argues that the EEOC’s allegations do not plead any cognizable claim of discrimination under Title VII. The brief goes on to point out that the EEOC is attempting to make new law by claiming to bring a disparate treatment cause of action based only on the allegation that CMS intentionally discriminated against Ms. Jones because its grooming policy adversely affects African Americans as a group. Treating general policies affecting mutable cultural practices as intentional and invidious racial discrimination would mean, moreover, that no employer could ever implement a grooming policy prohibiting dreadlocks for any reason.  Furthermore, the brief asserts that the EEOC’s interpretation of Title VII would result in an unprecedented, unbounded, and legally unsupported theory of “intentional” discrimination that in fact requires no showing of intent to discriminate on the basis of race.

William S. Consovoy, Thomas R. McCarthy, and J. Michael Connolly of Consovoy McCarthy PLLC represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as co-counsel to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center. 

Case Outcome: 

This case has not been decided yet. 

Procedural History: 

U.S. Chamber amicus brief filed 1/16/2015.

Argued 8/21/2015.