Iowa Supreme Court Nixes BROAD Race-Based Class Action Against Entire State of Iowa

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Friday, July 18 – Iowa Supreme CourtSupremes

In a case that was originally brought in October 2007, Plaintiffs, fourteen African-Americans, brought a class action suit against the State, including thirty-seven different executive branch departments, under the Federal Civil Rights Act and the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

In their Petition, Plaintiffs alleged that the State unlawfully and systematically discriminates against African Americans in employment. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the State because, even though the statistical evidence showed that African-Americans did not fare as well in certain pre-screening, and interview activities as did their white counterparts, the trial court found that the Plaintiffs did not meet their burden to prove discrimination.

In an 83 page opinion that reads like a social science dissertation at times, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court, holding that Plaintiffs did not meet their burden of establishing that the underlying documents did not provide sufficient information to allow employment practices to be separated for meaningful statistical analysis, and therefore, Defendant State of Iowa was entitled to summary judgment under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.  Decision at the link, below.

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