In 1989, the plaintiffs filed suit against the Ford Motor Company in the Northern District of Ohio, alleging that the company refused to hire them on the basis of race, in violation of state law prohibiting discrimination in employment (Ohio Rev.Code Ann. § 4112.02(A)). Plaintiffs further alleged ...
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In 1989, the plaintiffs filed suit against the Ford Motor Company in the Northern District of Ohio, alleging that the company refused to hire them on the basis of race, in violation of state law prohibiting discrimination in employment (Ohio Rev.Code Ann. § 4112.02(A)). Plaintiffs further alleged that other less qualified applicants, and/or others who applied after them but were white, were hired; that they were given no explanation for Ford's failure to hire them and others similarly situated in the same manner; and that Ford had engaged in a pattern, practice and course of conduct of not hiring individuals who are black or African-American, and in giving preferential treatment to white applicants. After the plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification on October 30, 1995, additional applicants filed a tag-along action alleging that Ford discriminates on the basis of race in violation of Ohio Revised Code § 4112.02 through the use of its pre-employment test, which they argue had a disparate impact on African-Americans. On September 9, 1997, the District Court (Judge Bernard A. Friedman) granted defendant's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action.
Plaintiffs appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on September 30, 1997. On August 9, 1999, the Circuit Court (Alice M. Batchelder) held that Ford demonstrated through empirical data that its pre-employment test had content validity as well as criterion validity, in that ''the selection procedure is predictive of or significantly correlated with important elements of job performance.'' The court found that although it may have had a disparate impact on African American test-takers, the test did not violate Ohio Rev.Code § 4112.02. The court further held that the evidence did not support the claim that Ford discriminated on the basis of race in choosing who would take the pre-employment test, as plaintiffs failed to show any discrepancy between the composition of the pool of actual test-takers and the composition of the pool of candidates for testing in the relevant labor market. The decision of the District Court was therefore affirmed.Rebecca Eisenbrey - 04/12/2015