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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Local 28
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
(Argued the cause for the petitioners)
Facts of the Case 

In 1975, a federal district court found the Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers Union guilty of racial discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court established a 29 percent minority membership goal and ordered the union to implement procedures to meet the goal. In 1982 and 1983, the union was found guilty of civil contempt for disobeying the court orders. The court then established a 29.23 percent nonwhite membership goal to be met by August 1987.


Did provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 empower courts to order race-conscious membership quotas?

Decision: 5 votes for EEOC, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII

The Court held that Title VII did not prohibit courts from ordering, in appropriate circumstances, affirmative race-conscious relief as a remedy for past discrimination. Specifically, the Court held that such relief was appropriate where employers or labor unions had engaged in "persistent or egregious discrimination, or where necessary to dissipate the lingering effects of pervasive discrimination." The Court noted that injunctions simply reiterating Title VII's prohibition against discrimination were useless in cases of chronically discriminatory employers or unions.

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LOCAL 28 v. EEOC. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 03 June 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_1656>.
LOCAL 28 v. EEOC, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_1656 (last visited June 3, 2015).
"LOCAL 28 v. EEOC," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed June 3, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1985/1985_84_1656.