Friday, December 27, 2013

General Telephone Co. v. Falcon case brief

General Telephone Co. v. Falcon case brief summary
457 U.S. 147 (1982)

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit properly permitted respondent to maintain a class action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) on behalf of Mexican-American applicants for employment whom petitioner did not hire.

Petitioner initiated a recruitment and training program for minorities. Respondent, a Mexican-American, was hired through the program and was promoted two times. His application for another position was subsequently denied even though promotions were awarded to several white employees with less seniority. Respondent brought an action alleging that petitioner discriminated against Mexican-Americans because of national origin and subjected Mexican-Americans to continuous employment discrimination. While the merits of both respondent's promotion claim and class hiring claim remained open for consideration, the court granted certiorari to decide whether the class action was properly maintained on behalf of both employees who were denied promotion and applicants who were denied employment.


  • The court held that respondent's complaint provided an insufficient basis for concluding that the adjudication of his claim of discrimination in promotion would require the decision of any common question concerning the failure of petitioner to hire more Mexican-Americans because it did not present questions of law or fact that were common to the claims of respondent and other proposed class members.
The court reversed the judgment affirming the class action certification order, holding that the district court erred by presuming that respondent's claims were typical of other claims by Mexican-American employees and applicants against petitioner.

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