Pullman-Standard v. Swint
Argued January 19, 1982
Decided April 27, 1982*
456 U.S. 273
Respondent black employees delivered match in Federal District Court towards petitioners, their corporation and sure unions, alleging that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was violated via a seniority machine maintained via petitioners. The District Court observed that the variations in phrases, situations, or privileges of employment as a consequence of the seniority machine "are not the end result of an aim to discriminate due to race or color" and held, consequently, that the device happy the necessities of § 703(h) of the Act. That segment provides that it shall not be an illegal employment exercise for an corporation to use different compensation requirements or exceptional terms, conditions, or privileges of employment
"pursuant to a bona fide seniority . . . system . . . supplied that such variations are not the end result of an purpose to discriminate because of race."
The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the variations in treatment of employees under the seniority device resulted from an reason to discriminate, and consequently violated 703(h). Although recognizing that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure fifty two(a) calls for that a District Court s findings of fact no longer be set aside until without a doubt faulty, the Court of Appeals concluded that a locating of discrimination or nondiscrimination underneath § 703(h) changed into a locating of "remaining fact" that the courtroom would evaluate by making
"an impartial willpower of [the] allegations of discrimination, even though bound via findings of subsidiary truth that are themselves now not actually faulty."
Held: The Court of Appeals erred inside the route of its overview of the District Court s judgment. Pp. 456 U. S. 276-293.
(a) Under § 703(h), a displaying of a disparate effect alone is inadequate to invalidate a seniority gadget, despite the fact that the end result may be to perpetuate pre-Act discrimination. Absent a discriminatory reason, the operation of a seniority device isn't an illegal employment practice despite the fact that the machine has a few discriminatory outcomes. Pp. 456 U. S. 276-277.
(b) Rule 52(a) does not divide findings of reality into those who cope with "closing" and those that address "subsidiary" facts. While the Rule
Page 456 U. S. 274
does now not observe to conclusions of law, here the District Court become not faulted for making use of an erroneous definition of intentional discrimination. Rather, it become reversed for arriving at what the Court of Appeals concept became an erroneous finding as to whether or not the differential effect of the seniority gadget meditated an intent to discriminate because of race for functions of § 703(h). That query is a natural question of fact, subject to Rule 52(a) s simply faulty popular. Discriminatory intent right here way real purpose; it is not a felony presumption to be drawn from a real displaying of some thing much less than actual reason. Thus, a court docket of appeals may additionally most effective reverse a district courtroom s finding on discriminatory motive if it concludes that the finding is truly faulty underneath Rule 52(a). Pp. 456 U. S. 285-290.
(c) While the Court of Appeals efficiently said the controlling honestly erroneous standard of Rule fifty two(a), its end that the challenged seniority system became unprotected by § 703(h) was the fabricated from the court docket s flawed independent consideration of the totality of the situations it located within the document. When the Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court had erred in failing to don't forget certain relevant evidence, it improperly made its own dedication based totally on such proof. When a district court s locating as to discriminatory reason underneath § 703(h) is set aside for an errors of law, the court docket of appeals isn't always relieved of the same old requirement of remanding for further complaints to the tribunal charged with the mission of factfinding inside the first instance. Pp. 456 U. S. 290-293.
624 F.2nd 525, reversed and remanded.
WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, POWELL, REHNQUIST, and O CONNOR, JJ., joined. STEVENS, J., filed a assertion concurring in part, submit, p. 456 U. S. 293. MARSHALL, J., filed a dissenting opinion, wherein BLACKMUN, J., joined except as to Part I, publish, p. 456 U. S. 293.
Page 456 U. S. 275
No. eighty456 U.S. 273astpersonnel delivered match in Federal District Court against petitioners, their company and certain unions, alleging that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 changed into violated by means of a seniority machine maintained by way of petitioners. The District Court determined that the differences in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment due to the seniority gadget "are no longer the result of an intention to discriminate due to race or coloration" and held, therefore, that the machine happy the necessities of § 703(h) of the Act. That section provides that it shall now not be an illegal employment exercise for an organization to use one-of-a-kind reimbursement requirements or special terms, conditions, or privileges of employment
"pursuant to a bona fide seniority . . . system . . . provided that such variations aren't the result of an goal to discriminate due to race."
The Court of Appeals reversed, keeping that the variations in treatment of employees below the seniority machine resulted from an rationale to discriminate, and hence violated 703(h). Although spotting that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a) requires that a District Court s findings of truth now not be set apart until clearly misguided, the Court of Appeals concluded that a finding of discrimination or nondiscrimination under § 703(h) turned into a locating of "last reality" that the court might overview by means of making
"an unbiased determination of [the] allegations of discrimination, though bound by means of findings of subsidiary truth which are themselves no longer truly erroneous."
Held: The Court of Appeals erred within the path of its review of the District Court s judgment. Pp. 456 U. S. 276-293.
(a) Under § 703(h), a displaying of a disparate effect by myself is inadequate to invalidate a seniority device, even though the result may be to perpetuate pre-Act discrimination. Absent a discriminatory cause, the operation of a seniority gadget is not an unlawful employment practice although the device has a few discriminatory results. Pp. 456 U. S. 276-277.
(b) Rule 52(a) does no longer divide findings of truth into those that cope with "final" and those that deal with "subsidiary" statistics. While the Rule
does not practice to conclusions of regulation, right here the District Court turned into no longer faulted for making use of an inaccurate definition of intentional discrimination. Rather, it became reversed for arriving at what the Court of Appeals thought become an misguided locating as to whether the differential effect of the seniority machine contemplated an purpose to discriminate because of race for functions of § 703(h). That query is a pure question of truth, problem to Rule fifty two(a) s sincerely inaccurate general. Discriminatory purpose right here means actual reason; it isn't always a criminal presumption to be drawn from a actual showing of something less than real reason. Thus, a courtroom of appeals may additionally simplest opposite a district court s finding on discriminatory rationale if it concludes that the locating is certainly inaccurate under Rule fifty two(a). Pp. 456 U. S. 285-290.
(c) While the Court of Appeals efficaciously stated the controlling clearly misguided general of Rule fifty two(a), its end that the challenged seniority gadget become unprotected with the aid of § 703(h) become the made from the court docket s wrong independent consideration of the totality of the instances it determined in the file. When the Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court had erred in failing to do not forget positive relevant evidence, it improperly made its personal dedication based totally on such proof. When a district courtroom s locating as to discriminatory cause beneath § 703(h) is about apart for an mistakes of law, the courtroom of appeals is not relieved of the same old requirement of remanding for in addition lawsuits to the tribunal charged with the venture of factfinding inside the first example. Pp. 456 U. S. 290-293.
624 F.second 525, reversed and remanded.
WHITE, J., added the opinion of the Court, wherein BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, POWELL, REHNQUIST, and O CONNOR, JJ., joined. STEVENS, J., filed a declaration concurring in part, post, p. 456 U. S. 293. MARSHALL, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BLACKMUN, J., joined except as to Part I, put up, p. 456 U. S. 293.
JUSTICE WHITE introduced the opinion of the Court.
Respondents have been black personnel on the Bessemer, Ala., plant of petitioner Pullman-Standard (the Company), a manufacturer of railway freight cars and elements. They brought in shape towards the Company and the union petitioners -- the United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO-CLC, and its Local 1466 (together USW) -- alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, seventy eight Stat. 253, as amended, forty two U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (1976 ed. and Supp. IV), and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. [Footnote 1] As they come here, these instances involve handiest the validity, below Title VII, of a seniority gadget maintained by the Company and USW. The District Court discovered
"that the differences in terms, conditions or privileges of employment resulting [from the seniority system] are now not the end result of an goal to discriminate due to race or coloration,"
App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 80-1190, p. A-147 (hereinafter App.), and held, therefore, that the system happy the necessities of § 703(h) of the Act. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed:
"Because we discover that the differences inside the phrases, conditions and standards of employment for black employees and white employees at Pullman-Standard resulted from an cause to discriminate because of race, we preserve that the device isn't always legally legitimate below phase 703(h) of Title VII, forty two U.S.C. 2000e-2(h)."
624 F.second 525, 533-534 (1980).
Page 456 U. S. 276
We granted the petitions for certiorari filed with the aid of USW and by means of the Company, 451 U.S. 906 (1981), restricted to the primary question provided in every petition: whether or not a court docket of appeals is sure by means of the "honestly inaccurate" rule of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a) in reviewing a district court s findings of truth, arrived at after a lengthy trial, as to the incentive of the events who negotiated a seniority gadget; and whether or not the court under carried out wrong felony criteria in figuring out the bona fides of the seniority device. We conclude that the Court of Appeals erred within the path of its evaluation, and consequently opposite its judgment and remand for similarly complaints.
Title VII is a broad remedial measure, designed "to guarantee equality of employment opportunities." McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U. S. 792, 411 U. S. 800 (1973). The Act changed into designed to bar not most effective overt employment discrimination, "but additionally practices which can be truthful in form, however discriminatory in operation." Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U. S. 424, 401 U. S. 431 (1971).
"Thus, the Court has time and again held that a prima facie Title VII violation can be set up by means of regulations or practices which might be neutral on their face and in motive, but that despite the fact that discriminate in effect against a selected organization."
Teamsters v. United States, 431 U. S. 324, 431 U. S. 349 (1977) (hereinafter Teamsters). The Act s remedy of seniority structures, however, establishes an exception to those trendy ideas. Section 703(h), 78 Stat. 257, as set forth in forty two U.S.C. § 2000e-2(h), presents in pertinent part:
"Notwithstanding some other provision of this subchapter, it shall now not be an illegal employment practice for an organization to apply specific standards of compensation, or special terms, conditions, or privileges of employment pursuant to a bona fide seniority . . . device . . . , supplied that such variations are not the end result of an purpose to discriminate because of race. "
Page 456 U. S. 277
Under this phase, a displaying of disparate effect is insufficient to invalidate a seniority gadget, even though the result can be to perpetuate pre-Act discrimination. In Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U. S. 63, 432 U. S. 82 (1977), we summarized the effect of § 703(h) as follows:
"[A]bsent a discriminatory motive, the operation of a seniority system can not be an illegal employment practice despite the fact that the system has some discriminatory effects."
Thus, any assignment to a seniority device underneath Title VII would require a tribulation on the issue of discriminatory motive: become the machine followed due to its racially discriminatory impact?
This is precisely what occurred in those cases. Following our selection in Teamsters, the District Court held a new trial on the limited question of whether the seniority gadget turned into "instituted or maintained opposite to Section 703(h) of the new Civil Rights Act of 1964." App. A-one hundred twenty five. [Footnote 2] That courtroom concluded, as we noted above and could speak under, that the device become adopted and maintained for purposes absolutely unbiased of any discriminatory reason. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed.
Petitioners post that the Court of Appeals failed to follow the command of Rule fifty two(a) that the findings of fact of a district court docket won't be set aside until really misguided. We first describe the findings of the District Court and the Court of Appeals.
Certain records are not unusual floor for each the District Court and the Court of Appeals. The Company s Bessemer plant turned into unionized inside the early 1940 s. Both earlier than and after unionization, the plant became divided into some of extraordinary operational departments. [Footnote 3] USW sought to represent
Page 456 U. S. 278
all manufacturing and renovation employees at the plant, and changed into elected in 1941 because the bargaining consultant of a bargaining unit such as most of those employees. At that same time, IAM have become the bargaining consultant of a unit along with 5 departments. [Footnote 4] Between 1941 and 1944, IAM ceded sure workers in its bargaining unit to USW. As a result of this switch, the IAM bargaining unit became all white.
Throughout the period of illustration by way of USW, the plant turned into about half black. Prior to 1965, the Company openly pursued a racially discriminatory policy of process assignments. Most departments contained more than one job category, and, as a result, maximum departments had been racially mixed. There had been no strains of progression or promotion within departments.
The seniority device at trouble right here became adopted in 1954. [Footnote five] Under that agreement, seniority was measured by way of duration of non-stop service in a particular department. [Footnote 6] Seniority turned into initially exercised simplest for purposes of layoffs and hirings inside particular departments. In 1956, seniority turned into officially recognized for promotional purposes as nicely. Again, however, seniority, with limited exceptions, become most effective exercised within departments; employees shifting to
Page 456 U. S. 279
new departments forfeited their seniority. This seniority machine remained truely unchanged till after this healthy was introduced in 1971. [Footnote 7]
The District Court approached the query of discriminatory cause in the manner counseled by the Fifth Circuit in James v. Stockham Valves & Fittings Co., 559 F.second 310 (1977). There, the Court of Appeals said that, below Teamsters, "the totality of the instances within the improvement and protection of the device is applicable to inspecting that problem." 559 F.2nd at 352. There had been, in its view, but, four precise elements that a courtroom need to consciousness on. [Footnote eight]
First, a court docket need to determine whether or not the device "operates to deter all employees equally from transferring between seniority devices." Ibid. The District Court held that the device right here "become facially impartial, and . . . turned into implemented equally to all races and ethnic agencies." App. A-132. Although there had been expenses of racial discrimination in its utility, the court held that those were "now not substantiated via the evidence." Id. at A-133. It concluded that the device
"implemented equally and uniformly to all personnel, black and white, and that, given the approximately equal range
Page 456 U. S. 280
of personnel of the 2 companies, it turned into quantitatively impartial as properly."
Id. at A-134. [Footnote nine]
Second, a court docket have to examine the rationality of the departmental structure, upon which the seniority device relies, in mild of the overall enterprise practice. James, supra, at 352. The District Court observed that linking seniority to "departmental age" changed into "the modal form of agreements commonly, as well as with manufacturers of railroad device particularly." App. A-137. Furthermore, it discovered the basic arrangement of departments at the plant to be rationally associated with the character of the paintings, and to be "regular with practices which were . . . commonly followed at different unionized plants for the duration of the u . s . a .." Id. at A-136 - A-137. While questions can be raised about the need of sure departmental divisions, it found that all of the challenged strains of division grew out of ancient instances at the plant that were unrelated to racial discrimination. [Footnote 10] Although unionization did produce an all-white IAM bargaining unit, it located that USW "can't be charged with racial bias in its response to the IAM state of affairs. [USW] sought to symbolize all workers, black and white, in the plant." Id. at A-145. Nor ought to the Company be charged with any racial discrimination which can have existed in IAM:
"The enterprise nicely took a palms-off method closer to the establishment of the election gadgets. . . . It bargained with the ones unions which were afforded representational
Page 456 U. S. 281
status by using the NLRB and did so without any discriminatory animus."
Id. at A-146.
Third, a court docket needed to keep in mind "whether or not the seniority machine had its genesis in racial discrimination," James, supra, at 352, by way of which it intended the relationship among the system and different racially discriminatory practices. Although locating ample discrimination by the Company in its employment practices and some discriminatory practices through the union, [Footnote 11] the District Court concluded that the seniority device become in no way related to the discriminatory practices:
"The seniority system . . . had its genesis . . . at a duration when racial segregation was truely being practiced; but this machine was not itself the manufactured from this bias. The system alternatively befell because of coloration-blind goals of a union which -- unlike most systems and establishments of the era -- become not an arm of a segregated society. Nor did it foster the discrimination . . . which turned into being practiced through custom within the plant."
App. A-one hundred forty four.
Finally, a court docket ought to consider "whether or not the machine became negotiated and has been maintained unfastened from any illegal purpose." James, supra, at 352. Stating that it had "cautiously taken into consideration the specified report of negotiation classes and contracts which span a duration of some thirty-five years," App. A-146, the courtroom discovered that the system turned into untainted by means of any discriminatory cause. Thus, despite the fact that the District
Page 456 U. S. 282
Court targeted on particular factors in carrying out the evaluation required by § 703(h), it additionally regarded to the whole record and to the "totality of the machine below assault." Id. at A-147.
The Court of Appeals addressed every of the four factors of the James check and reached the opposite end. First, it held that the District Court erred in putting apart qualitative differences between the departments wherein blacks had been concentrated and people dominated with the aid of whites, in thinking about whether or not the device implemented "similarly" to whites and blacks. [Footnote 12] This is a purported correction of a legal popular under which the proof is to be evaluated.
Second, it rejected the District Court s conclusion that the shape of departments become rational, in keeping with industry exercise, and did not mirror any discriminatory cause. Its discussion is short but makes a speciality of the position of IAM and certain traits particular to the Bessemer plant. The courtroom concluded:
"The file evidence normally suggests arbitrary advent of the departments by way of the business enterprise when you consider that unionization, and an attendant negative affect [sic] on black workers. The man or woman differences between the departmental structure at Pullman-Standard and that of other flowers, and compared with enterprise exercise, are indicative of attempts to preserve one-race departments."
624 F.2d at 532. In accomplishing this conclusion, the Court of Appeals did not purport to be correcting a felony error, nor did it consult with or expressly apply the clearly faulty trendy.
Page 456 U. S. 283
Third, in considering the "genesis" of the machine, the Court of Appeals held that the District Court erred in retaining that the motives of IAM had been no longer relevant. [Footnote 13] This changed into the correction of a felony error on the part of the District Court in aside from relevant proof. The courtroom did now not forestall there, but. It went directly to preserve that IAM became acting out of discriminatory intent -- an problem particularly no longer reached by way of the District Court -- and that "issues of race permeated the negotiation and the adoption of the seniority device in 1941 and subsequent negotiations thereafter." Ibid.
Fourth, in spite of this end below the 1/3 James thing, the Court of Appeals then recited, but did not expressly set apart or discover virtually erroneous, the District Court s findings with appreciate to the negotiation and preservation of the seniority device.
The court docket then introduced that,
"[h]aving carefully reviewed the proof offered to expose whether the departmental seniority machine within the gift case is bona fide inside the which means of § 703(h) of Title VII, we reject the district court docket s locating."
624 F.2nd at 533. Elaborating on its disagreement, the Court of Appeals stated:
"An analysis of the totality of the records and circumstances surrounding the creation and continuance of the departmental gadget at Pullman-Standard leaves us with the precise and firm conviction that a mistake has been made. There isn't any doubt, based upon the record in this situation, approximately the lifestyles of a discriminatory reason. The apparent primary purpose of the I.A.M. in 1941 changed into to exclude black workers from its bargaining unit.
Page 456 U. S. 284
That goal turned into in the long run reached while maneuvers with the aid of the I.A.M. and U.S.W. led to an all-white I.A.M. unit. The U.S.W., within the interest of improved membership, acquiesced within the discrimination whilst succeeding in appreciably segregating the departments inside its very own unit."
"The district court may have reached a exceptional end had it given the I.A.M. s role in the creation and establishment of the seniority device its due attention."
Ibid. (footnote overlooked).
Having rejected the District Court s locating, the courtroom made its own findings as to whether the USW seniority device turned into included by § 703(h):
"We don't forget tremendous in our choice the manner by which the two seniority gadgets were installation, the creation of the diverse all-white and all-black departments within the U.S.W. unit on the time of certification and within the years thereafter, conditions of racial discrimination which affected the negotiation and renegotiation of the gadget, and the extent to which the system and the attendant no-transfer rule locked blacks into the least remunerative positions within the business enterprise. Because we find that the differences inside the phrases, situations and requirements of employment for black employees and white employees at Pullman-Standard resulted from an reason to discriminate because of race, we keep that the machine isn't legally legitimate beneath section 703(h) of Title VII, forty two U.S.C. § 2000e-2(h)."
Id. at 533-534.
In reference to its statement that it become convinced that a mistake were made, the Court of Appeals, in a footnote, noted the truly faulty standard of Rule fifty two(a). Id. at 533, n. 6. [Footnote 14] It talked about, but, that, if findings
Page 456 U. S. 285
"are made below an misguided view of controlling felony ideas, the virtually misguided rule does no longer follow, and the findings won't stand." Ibid. Finally, quoting from East v. Romine, Inc., 518 F.second 332, 339 (CA5 1975), the Court of Appeals repeated the subsequent view of its appellate characteristic in Title VII cases where useful discrimination is at issue:
" Although discrimination vel non is basically a query of reality it is, on the equal time, the remaining issue for resolution in this case, being expressly proscribed by using forty two U.S.C.A. § 2000-2(a). As such, a locating of discrimination or nondiscrimination is a finding of last truth. [Cites omitted.] In reviewing the district courtroom s findings, therefore, we are able to proceed to make an independent dedication of appellant s allegations of discrimination, though certain by way of findings of subsidiary truth which might be themselves now not honestly misguided. "
624 F.2nd at 533, n. 6.
Pointing to the above assertion of the Court of Appeals and to comparable statements in other Title VII cases coming from that court, [Footnote 15] petitioners publish that the Court of Appeals
Page 456 U. S. 286
made an independent determination of discriminatory motive, the "remaining truth" in this example, and that this become mistakes underneath Rule 52(a). We trust petitioners that, if the Court of Appeals observed what appears to be the frequent rule in that Circuit, its judgment need to be reversed. [Footnote 16]
Page 456 U. S. 287
Rule fifty two(a) extensively requires that findings of fact no longer be set aside except genuinely faulty. It does no longer make exceptions or purport to exclude positive classes of genuine findings from the duty of a courtroom of appeals to just accept a district court s findings until surely misguided. It does no longer divide records into classes; particularly, it does no longer divide findings of reality into those who deal with "final" and those that cope with "subsidiary" information.
The Rule does not apply to conclusions of regulation. The Court of Appeals, consequently, turned into quite right in announcing that, if a district courtroom s findings rest on an faulty view of the regulation, they may be set apart on that basis. But right here the District Court changed into now not faulted for misunderstanding or applying an erroneous definition of intentional discrimination. [Footnote 17] It became reversed for arriving at what the Court of Appeals thought changed into an erroneous finding as to whether or not the differential impact of the seniority machine meditated an reason to discriminate resulting from race. That query, as we see it, is a
Page 456 U. S. 288
pure question of truth, subject to Rule fifty two(a) s without a doubt erroneous wellknown. It isn't always a question of regulation and no longer a combined question of law and fact.
The Court has formerly stated the vexing nature of the distinction among questions of reality and questions of law. See Baumgartner v. United States, 322 U. S. 665, 322 U. S. 671 (1944). Rule 52(a) does no longer supply particular guidance with appreciate to distinguishing regulation from reality. Nor can we but realize of any other rule or principle so that it will unerringly distinguish a authentic finding from a legal conclusion. For the motives that observe, however, we've no doubt approximately the factual nature of § 703(h) s requirement that a seniority machine be free of an purpose to discriminate.
Treating issues of reason as factual topics for the trier of reality is not unusual. In Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman, 443 U. S. 526, 443 U. S. 534 (1979), the major query turned into whether the defendants had intentionally maintained a racially segregated faculty system at a particular time inside the past. We identified that problem as essentially real, situation to the clearly misguided rule. In Commissioner v. Duberstein, 363 U. S. 278 (1960), the Court held that the principal criterion for identifying a present under the applicable provision of the Internal Revenue Code turned into the motive or cause of the donor -- "one that inquires what the fundamental motive for his behavior changed into in truth." Id. at 363 U. S. 286. Resolution of that problem decided the last trouble of whether or not a gift have been made. Both issues have been held to be questions of fact situation to the without a doubt erroneous rule. In United States v. Yellow Cab Co., 338 U. S. 338, 338 U. S. 341 (1949), an antitrust case, the Court referred to "[f]indings as to the layout, cause and rationale with which guys act" as peculiarly factual problems for the trier of fact, and consequently situation to appellate review below Rule fifty two.
Justice Black s dissent in Yellow Cab recommended a opposite method. Relying on United States v. Griffith, 334 U.S.
Page 456 U. S. 289
a hundred (1948), he argued that it isn't always constantly necessary to show "specific reason" to restrain exchange; it is enough if a restraint is the result or outcome of a defendant s behavior or commercial enterprise arrangements. Such an approach, but, is specially precluded by means of § 703(h) in Title VII instances tough seniority systems. Differentials amongst personnel that result from a seniority machine are not unlawful employment practices except the fabricated from an rationale to discriminate. It would make no experience, consequently, to mention that the purpose to discriminate required with the aid of § 703(h) may be presumed from such an impact. As § 703(h) become construed in Teamsters, there must be a finding of actual purpose to discriminate on racial grounds at the a part of individuals who negotiated or maintained the system. That locating seems to us to be a pure question of truth.
This isn't always to say that discriminatory impact isn't part of the evidence to be considered through the trial court docket in accomplishing a locating on whether there was this sort of discriminatory intent as a real be counted. [Footnote 18] We do assert, but, that underneath § 703(h) discriminatory motive is a locating of reality to be made with the aid of the trial court; it isn't a query of law and now not a mixed question of regulation and truth of the type that during some cases may additionally permit an appellate court to review the information to see in the event that they fulfill some prison idea of discriminatory intent. [Footnote 19] Discriminatory
Page 456 U. S. 290
reason here way real motive; it is not a legal presumption to be drawn from a authentic displaying of some thing less than real reason. Thus, a court docket of appeals may also most effective opposite a district court s locating on discriminatory purpose if it concludes that the locating is surely inaccurate below Rule fifty two(a). Insofar because the Fifth Circuit assumed in any other case, it erred.
Respondents do not at once defend the Fifth Circuit rule that a trial courtroom s locating on discriminatory intent isn't issue to the clearly misguided preferred of Rule 52(a). [Footnote 20] Rather, among different things, they submit that the Court of Appeals recognized and, where appropriate, properly applied, Rule 52(a) in setting aside the findings of the District Court. This function has force, however, for two reasons, it isn't always persuasive.
First, despite the fact that the Court of Appeals stated and efficaciously stated the controlling trendy of Rule 52(a), the acknowledgment came past due in the court s opinion. The court had not expressly noted or applied Rule 52(a) in the route of disagreeing with the District Court s resolution of the authentic issues deemed relevant beneath James v. Stockham
Page 456 U. S. 291
Valves & Fittings Co., 559 F.second 310 (1977). [Footnote 21] Furthermore, the paragraph wherein the court docket sooner or later concludes that the USW seniority device is unprotected by using § 703(h) strongly shows that the final results became the made from the court docket s independent attention of the totality of the instances it determined in the report.
Second, and more basically, while the court said that it changed into satisfied that a mistake had been made, it then recognized no longer handiest the error, but also the source of that mistake. The mistake of the District Court changed into that, at the record, there may be no question approximately the lifestyles of a discriminatory reason. The source of the mistake changed into the District Court s failure to understand the relevance of the racial purposes of IAM. Had the District Court "given the I.A.M. s position inside the introduction and status quo of the seniority device its due attention," it "may have reached a extraordinary end." Supra at 456 U. S. 284.
When an appellate court discerns that a district court docket has didn't make a finding because of an misguided view of the law, the standard rule is that there must be a remand for further complaints to permit the trial courtroom to make the lacking findings:
"[F]actfinding is the fundamental obligation of district courts, rather than appellate courts, and . . . the Court of Appeals should now not have resolved in the first instance
Page 456 U. S. 292
this genuine dispute which had now not been considered with the aid of the District Court."
DeMarco v. United States, 415 U. S. 449, 415 U. S. 450, n. (1974). [Footnote 22] Likewise, wherein findings are infirm due to an misguided view of the regulation, a remand is the proper course except the file lets in simplest one decision of the genuine issue. Kelley v. Southern Pacific Co., 419 U. S. 318, 419 U. S. 331-332 (1974). All of that is basic. Yet the Court of Appeals, after protecting that the District Court had did not consider relevant evidence and indicating that the District Court might have come to a exclusive conclusion had it taken into consideration that proof, failed to remand for in addition court cases as to the intent of IAM and the significance, if any, of such a finding with appreciate to the purpose of USW itself. Instead, the Court of Appeals made its own determination as to the motives of IAM, located that USW had acquiesced in the IAM conduct, and apparently concluded that the foregoing became sufficient to eliminate the device from the safety of § 703(h). [Footnote 23]
Page 456 U. S. 293
Proceeding on this manner seems to us fantastic except the Court of Appeals construed its own nicely-set up Circuit rule with admire to its authority to arrive at impartial findings on last records freed from the strictures of Rule 52(a) additionally to allow it to look at the record and make its very own unbiased findings with recognize to those problems on which the district court docket s findings are set apart for an mistakes of regulation. As we've previously stated, however, the idea for this end is infirm: whether an ultimate reality or now not, discriminatory purpose under § 703(h) is a genuine rely difficulty to the in reality erroneous fashionable of Rule fifty two(a). It follows that, while a district court docket s locating on such an closing reality is ready aside for an error of regulation, the court of appeals is not relieved of the standard requirement of remanding for in addition proceedings to the tribunal charged with the task of factfinding inside the first example.
Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the instances are remanded to that court for further proceedings regular with this opinion.
* Together with No. 80-1193, United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO, et al. v. Swint et al., additionally on certiorari to the equal court.
In their original complaint, besides difficult the seniority machine discussed on this opinion, plaintiffs also alleged discrimination in activity assignments and promotions and the failure to submit publicly a listing of modifications in assignments. These have been all delivered as "magnificence" troubles. Two expenses of man or woman discrimination have been also added. The Court of Appeals held that the Company had violated Title VII in making activity assignments and in choosing foremen. In granting certiorari, we declined to check the ones factors of the selection.
The procedural records of these instances is alternatively complicated. The authentic criticism was filed in 1971. Since that time, the case has been attempted 3 instances and has two times been reviewed via the Court of Appeals.
In 1941, previous to unionization, the Bessemer plant become divided into 20 departments. By 1954, there had been 28 departments -- 26 USW devices and a couple of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) devices. The departments remained essentially unchanged after 1954.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) gained representation fame for two small departments. The IBEW unit changed into all white. IBEW, however turned into decertified in 1946, and its individuals were reabsorbed into a branch represented by means of USW.
A departmental seniority device turned into part of the preliminary collective bargaining agreement between the Company and USW in 1942. Between 1947 and 1954, but, the seniority gadget modified from one based on departments to at least one based totally upon particular occupations within departments. In 1954, the gadget went lower back to a departmental base.
The best exceptions, until 1972 (see n 7, infra), have been for personnel shifting on the request of the Company or for the ones electing transfer in lieu of layoff.
In 1972, the Company entered into an settlement with the Department of Labor to carry its employment practices into compliance with Executive Order No. 11246, 3 CFR 339 (1964-1965 Comp.). This provided an exception to the departmental restriction on seniority, permitting certain black personnel to make interdepartmental transfers with none loss of seniority.
The Fifth Circuit relied upon the subsequent passage in Teamsters, 431 U.S. at 431 U. S. 355-356:
"The seniority machine on this litigation is completely bona fide. It applies similarly to all races and ethnic organizations. To the quantity that it locks employees into non-line-driver jobs, it does so for all. . . . The placing of line drivers in a separate bargaining unit from other employees is rational, in accord with the industry practice, and constant with National Labor Relation Board precedents. It is conceded that that seniority device did no longer have its genesis in racial discrimination, and that it was negotiated and has been maintained free from any unlawful reason."
This passage turned into, of route, now not supposed to be an exhaustive list of all of the elements that a district courtroom might or have to recollect in creating a finding of discriminatory reason.
The court docket mainly declined to make any locating on whether or not the no-switch provision of the seniority device had a greater relative impact on blacks than on whites, because of qualitative differences inside the departments in which they were concentrated. It believed that such an inquiry might have been inconsistent with the sooner Fifth Circuit opinion in this example.
In precise, the court docket targeted at the records of the unionization manner at the plant, and discovered sure of the departmental divisions to be based totally at the evolving dating between USW and IAM.
With appreciate to USW, the District Court discovered that
"[u]nion meetings have been performed with exceptional facets of the hall for white and black members, and social features of the union have been additionally segregated."
App. A-142. It additionally found, but, that,
"[w]hile owning some of the trimmings taken from an in any other case segregated society, the USW nearby changed into one of the few institutions in the region which did no longer feature, in truth, to foster and preserve segregation; as an alternative, it served a joint hobby of white and black people which had a higher precedence than racial issues."
Id. at A-143.
It does now not appear to us that the District Court really found a qualitative difference but held it to be beside the point. The applicable passage of the District Court opinion examine as follows:
"By rating the twenty-8 USW and IAM departments consistent with a few perceived order of desirability, one may want to . . . attempt to measure the relative effect of the no-switch rule on white and black personnel. . . . It may be that a incredibly extra impact become felt through blacks than whites, even though . . . this end is in no way positive."
Id. at A-134.
The unique criticism in this example did now not point out IAM. Prior to the first trial, respondents sought and acquired go away to amend their grievance to feature IAM as a Rule 19 defendant, "insofar as the comfort requested might also contain or infringe upon the provisions of such Union s collective bargaining agreement with the Company." Order of the District Court, June four, 1974 (App. 29).
In United States v. United States Gypsum Co., 333 U. S. 364, 333 U. S. 395 (1948), this Court characterized the truly erroneous widespread as follows:
"A locating is sincerely erroneous while, although there is proof to aid it, the reviewing court docket at the whole proof is left with the exact and corporation conviction that a mistake has been devoted."
We notice that the Court of Appeals quoted this passage at the belief of its analysis of the District Court opinion. Supra at 456 U. S. 283.
See Jackson v. City of Killeen, 654 F.2d 1181, 1184 (1981); Payne v. McLemore s Wholesale & Retail Stores, 654 F.2nd 1130, 1147 (1981); Wilkins v. University of Houston, 654 F.second 388, 390 (1981); Lindsey v. Mississippi Research & Development Center, 652 F.2nd 488, 492 (1981); Rohde v. K. O. Steel Castings, Inc., 649 F.2nd 317, 320 (1981); Joshi v. Florida State University, 646 F.2nd 981, 986 (1981); Phillips v. Joint Legislative Committee, 637 F.2nd 1014, 1024 (1981); Danner v. United States Civil Service Comm n, 635 F.2nd 427, 430-431 (1981); Thompson v. Leland Police Dept., 633 F.2d 1111, 1112 (1980); Crawford v. Western Electric Co., 614 F.2d 1300, 1311 (1980); Burdine v. Texas Dept. of Community Affairs, 608 F.2nd 563, 566 (1979); Williams v. Tallahassee Motors, Inc., 607 F.2nd 689, 690 (1979); Parson v. Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp., 575 F.2nd 1374, 1382 (1978); Causey v. Ford Motor Co., 516 F.2d 416, 420-421 (1975); East v. Romine, Inc., 518 F.2d 332, 338-339 (1975).
There is a few indication in the reviews of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (see n 15, supra) that the Circuit rule with appreciate to "last information" is handiest every other way of mentioning a preferred of evaluate with admire to blended questions of law and truth -- the remaining "fact" is the statutory, legally determinative attention (here, intentional discrimination) that's or isn't happy by way of subsidiary information admitted or found through the trier of reality. As indicated inside the text, however, the question of intentional discrimination below § 703(h) is a natural question of fact. Furthermore, the Court of Appeals opinion in this situation appears to deal with the problem as a query of reality unmixed with prison concerns.
At the same time, this Court has, sometimes, itself indicated that findings on "remaining data" are independently reviewable. In Baumgartner v. United States, 322 U. S. 665 (1944), the issue turned into whether or not the findings of the 2 decrease courts glad the clean and convincing popular of proof vital to maintain a denaturalization decree. The Court held that the realization of the 2 lower courts that the exacting wellknown of proof have been satisfied became not an unreviewable finding of fact, however one that a reviewing court should independently determine. The Court noted the locating as one in all "closing" fact, which in that case concerned an appraisal of the electricity of the complete body of evidence. The Court said that the significance of the clear and convincing proof widespread "could be lost" if the ascertainment by using the decrease courts whether or not that exacting fashionable of proof have been glad at the entire document were to be deemed a "fact" of the equal order as all other "information not open to study right here." Id. at 322 U. S. 671.
The Fifth Circuit s rule on appellate attention of"ultimate records" has its roots on this dialogue in Baumgartner. In Galena Oaks Corp. v. Scofield, 218 F.2nd 217 (CA5 1954), wherein the query was whether or not the gain derived from the sale of a number of homes become to be dealt with as capital advantage or ordinary earnings, the Court of Appeals relied without delay on Baumgartner in conserving that this changed into an problem of "closing fact" that an appellate court docket might also assessment freed from the truly erroneous rule. Causey v. Ford Motor Co., supra, at 421, relying on Galena Oaks Corp. v. Scofield, supra, said that, "although discrimination vel non is essentially a question of truth, it's far, on the same time, the ultimate trouble for decision in this situation," and, as such, become deemed to be independently reviewable. The passage from East v. Romine, Inc., supra, at 339, which became repeated inside the instances earlier than us now, supra at 456 U. S. 285, rested on the opinion in Causey v. Ford Motor Co.
Whatever Baumgartner may additionally have supposed by way of its discussion of "last facts," it simply did not mean that, whenever the bring about a case activates a factual finding, an appellate court docket want now not stay within the constraints of Rule 52(a). Baumgartner s discussion of "ultimate records" referred no longer to pure findings of fact -- as we discover discriminatory cause to be in this context -- but to findings that "certainly impl[y] the software of requirements of law." 322 U.S. at 322 U. S. 671.
As we noted above, the Court of Appeals did at certain factors purport to accurate what it regarded as legal mistakes at the part of the District Court. The presence of such prison errors may additionally justify a remand with the aid of the Court of Appeals to the District Court for extra factfinding under the ideal felony trendy. Infra at 291-292.
See, e.g., Furnco Construction Corp. v. Waters, 438 U. S. 567, 438 U. S. 580 (1978):
"Proof that [an employer s] team of workers changed into racially balanced or that it contained a disproportionately high percentage of minority personnel isn't thoroughly beside the point on the difficulty of motive while that difficulty is yet to be determined."
We want not, consequently, cope with the a good deal-mooted problem of the applicability of the Rule fifty two(a) trendy to combined questions of law and fact -- i.e., questions wherein the ancient statistics are admitted or hooked up, the guideline of law is undisputed, and the difficulty is whether the information fulfill the statutory widespread, or to put it any other way, whether the rule of law as implemented to the established records is or isn't violated. There is sizeable authority within the Circuits on each aspects of this question. Compare United States ex rel. Johnson v. Johnson, 531 F.second 169, 174, n. 12 (CA3 1976); Stafos v. Jarvis, 477 F.second 369, 372 (CA10 1973); and Johnson v. Salisbury, 448 F.second 374, 377 (CA6 1971), with Rogers v. Bates, 431 F.2d sixteen, 18 (CA8 1970); and Pennsylvania Casualty Co. v. McCoy, 167 F.second 132, 133 (CA5 1948). There is also guide in selections of this Court for the proposition that conclusions on combined questions of regulation and reality are independently reviewable by using an appellate court docket, e.g., Bogardus v. Commissioner, 302 U. S. 34, 302 U. S. 39 (1937); Helvering v. Tex-Penn Oil Co., 300 U. S. 481, 300 U. S. 491 (1937); Helvering v. Rankin, 295 U. S. 123, 295 U. S. 131 (1935). But cf. Commissioner v. Duberstein, 363 U. S. 278, 363 U. S. 289 (1960); Commissioner v. Heininger, 320 U. S. 467, 320 U. S. 475 (1943).
Neither does the dissent contend that Rule 52(a) is inapplicable to findings of discriminatory intent. Rather, it contends, that the Rule turned into well carried out by using the Court of Appeals.
In unique, in regard to the second one James component -- whether the departmental structure changed into rational or in line with industry exercise -- the Court of Appeals did no longer awareness on the evidentiary basis for any particular finding of the District Court. It regarded to make an unbiased exam of the report and arrive at its very own conclusion opposite to that of the District Court. Likewise, in coping with the genesis of the seniority gadget and whether or not or no longer the negotiation or protection of the machine was tainted with racial discrimination, the Court of Appeals, even as figuring out what it thought was felony blunders in failing to bear in mind the racial practices and intentions of IAM, did no longer otherwise overturn any of the District Court s findings as genuinely inaccurate.
See 5A J. Moore & J. Lucas, Moore s Federal Practice § 52.06 (1982) ("Where the trial courtroom fails to make findings, or to find on a fabric difficulty, and an enchantment is taken, the appellate court docket will normally vacate the judgment and remand the action for appropriate findings to be made"); Rule v. International Assn. of Bridge Workers, 568 F.second 558, 568 (CA8 1978); Chicano Police Officer s Assn. v. Stover, 552 F.second 918, 921 (CA10 1977); O Neal v. Gresham, 519 F.2nd 803, 805 (CA4 1975); Burch v. International Assn. of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, 433 F.second 561 (CA5 1970); General Electric Credit Corp. v. Robbins, 414 F.2d 208 (CA8 1969).
IAM s discriminatory motivation, if it existed, can not be imputed to USW. It is relevant only to the volume that it may shed a few mild on the purpose of USW or the Company in developing and preserving the separate seniority machine at trouble in those instances. A discriminatory reason on the a part of IAM, consequently, does now not manage the outcome of these cases. Neither does the fact, if real, that USW acquiesced in racially discriminatory conduct at the part of IAM. Such acquiescence is not the equal of a discriminatory reason at the part of USW.
JUSTICE STEVENS, concurring in element.
Except to the extent that the Court s initial feedback on the burden of maintaining "any challenge to a seniority device beneath Title VII," ante at 456 U. S. 277, are inconsistent with the views I expressed one by one in American Tobacco Co. v. Patterson, ante p. 456 U. S. 86, I join the Court s opinion.
JUSTICE MARSHALL, with whom JUSTICE BLACKMUN joins besides as to Part I, dissenting.
In 1971, a collection of Negro employees at Pullman-Standard s Bessemer, Ala., plant introduced this elegance movement against Pullman-Standard, the United Steelworkers of America and its Local 1466 (USW), and the International Association of Machinists and its Local 372 (IAM). The plaintiffs alleged, inter alia, that the departmental seniority device negotiated
Page 456 U. S. 294
with the aid of each unions discriminated against Negroes in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, forty two U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (1976 ed. and Supp. IV), and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, forty two U.S.C. § 1981. In 1974, the District Court for the Northern District of Alabama concluded that the seniority device did not function to discriminate in opposition to Negroes. A unanimous panel of the Fifth Circuit reversed. The court ruled that the District Court had devoted numerous errors of regulation, including failure to present right weight to the position of the IAM, and had trusted patently erroneous actual conclusions. Swint v. Pullman-Standard, 539 F.second 77, ninety five-ninety six (1976). On remand, the District Court once more dominated that the seniority system changed into immune from assault underneath Title VII, this time finding that respondents had failed to expose discriminatory intent as required through this Court s selection in Teamsters v. United States, 431 U. S. 324 (1977). Ante at 456 U. S. 275. The Fifth Circuit again unanimously rejected the belief of the District Court. 624 F.2d 525 (1980). The majority now reverses the Fifth Circuit s 2d unanimous decision at the floor that the Court of Appeals did not pay sufficient homage to the "genuinely faulty" rule, Fed.Rule Civ.Proc. 52(a), in concluding that the seniority machine at Pullman-Standard changed into the made of intentional discrimination towards Negroes. Because I can not accept as true with the idea of the majority s choice to remand these instances for yet another trial, or with its application of that premise to the facts of this case, I respectfully dissent.
The majority premises its preserving on the assumption that,
" absent a discriminatory motive, the operation of a seniority gadget can not be an illegal employment practice although the device has some discriminatory consequences. "
Ante at 456 U. S. 277, quoting Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U. S. sixty three, 432 U. S. 82 (1977). As I actually have previously indicated, I do not locate something inside the relevant statutory language or legislative
Page 456 U. S. 295
records to assist the proposition that § 703(h) of Title VII immunizes a seniority gadget that perpetuates beyond discrimination, because the system at problem here genuinely does, virtually due to the fact the plaintiffs are not able to illustrate to this Court s pleasure that the gadget changed into adopted or maintained for an invidious reason. See Teamsters v. United States, supra, at 431 U. S. 377-394 (opinion of MARSHALL, J.). In my opinion, putting this sort of burden on plaintiffs who mission seniority structures with admitted discriminatory effect, a burden in no way before imposed in civil suits introduced underneath Title VII, frustrates the in reality expressed will of Congress and correctly "freeze[s] a whole technology of Negro personnel into discriminatory styles that existed before the Act." Quarles v. Philip Morris, Inc., 279 F. Supp. 505, 516 (ED Va.1968) (Butzner, J.).
Even if I have been to just accept this Court s choice to impose this novel burden on Title VII plaintiffs, I would still be not able to concur in its end that the Fifth Circuit s selection ought to be reversed for failing to abide by using Rule 52(a). The majority asserts that the Court of Appeals on this movement unnoticed the simply faulty rule and made an impartial dedication of discriminatory cause. I disagree. In my view, the court docket beneath followed well installed criminal ideas each in rejecting the District Court s locating of no discriminatory reason and in concluding that a locating of the sort of reason became pressured through all of the relevant evidence.
The majority concedes, because it have to, that the "Court of Appeals recounted and successfully said the controlling wellknown of Rule fifty two(a)." Ante at 456 U. S. 290. In a footnote to its opinion, the Court of Appeals it seems that states that findings of reality can be overturned simplest if they're both "virtually misguided" or "made underneath an erroneous view of controlling prison ideas." 624 F.2d at 533, n. 6. Furthermore, as the majority notes, ante at 456 U. S. 283, the Court of Appeals justified its selection to reject the District Court s finding that the seniority
Page 456 U. S. 296
gadget became not the result of useful discrimination with the aid of stating:
"An analysis of the totality of the facts and circumstances surrounding the creation and continuance of the departmental system at Pullman-Standard leaves us with the exact and firm conviction that a mistake has been made."
624 F.2d at 533 (emphasis introduced; footnote omitted). [Footnote 2/1] I frankly am at a loss to apprehend how the Court of Appeals may want to have expressed its end that the District Court s locating on the problem of purpose turned into clearly misguided with any more precision or readability.
The majority rejects the Court of Appeals clean articulation and implementation of the surely erroneous rule on the obvious ground that, in the course of correctly setting forth the necessities of Rule 52(a), the courtroom additionally protected the following citation from its earlier choice in East v. Romine, Inc., 518 F.second 332, 339 (1975):
" Although discrimination vel non is largely a question of reality, it's far, at the same time, the last trouble for decision in this situation, being expressly proscribed through forty two U.S.C.A. § 2000e-2(a). As such, a finding of discrimination or nondiscrimination is a finding of remaining reality. [Cites omitted]. In reviewing the district courtroom s findings, therefore, we are able to proceed to make an unbiased dedication of appellant s allegations of discrimination, even though sure by way of findings of subsidiary truth which are themselves now not definitely faulty. "
624 F.second at 533, n. 6.
The simplest query presented by this situation, consequently, is whether this reference to East v. Romine, Inc., ought to be read as negating the Court of Appeals unambiguous acknowledgment
Page 456 U. S. 297
of the "controlling trendy of Rule fifty two." Ante at 456 U. S. 290. The majority bases its affirmative solution to that question on factors. First, the majority contends that the Court of Appeals must not have nicely respected the truely faulty rule because its acknowledgment that Rule fifty two(a) supplied the controlling widespread "got here late in the court docket s opinion." Ante at 456 U. S. 290. Second, the Court of Appeals "recognized not handiest the error" that it felt were made, "however also the source of that mistake." Ante at 456 U. S. 291. If the Court of Appeals had virtually been applying the really misguided rule, it have to have abided through the "common requirement of remanding for further lawsuits to the tribunal charged with the challenge of factfinding inside the first instance." Ante at 456 U. S. 293.
Neither of those arguments justifies the bulk s end that those cases need to be remanded for a fourth trial at the merits. I am privy to no rule of selection embraced by means of this or any other court docket that locations dispositive weight on whether an correct statement of controlling precept appears "early" or late in a courtroom s opinion. Nor does the bulk recommend a basis for this precise rule of interpretation. So long as a court recognizes the right prison popular, I need to think it inappropriate whether it chooses to set forth that trendy at the beginning or at the give up of its opinion. The heart of the bulk s argument, therefore, is that the failure to remand the action to the District Court after rejecting its end that the seniority system was "bona fide" inside the which means of § 703(h) suggests that the Court of Appeals did now not nicely observe the simply erroneous rule. Before addressing this trouble, but, it is necessary to examine the character of the locating of "reason" required by this Court in Teamsters, the manner that courts of appeals should observe in reviewing a district court docket s locating on rationale, and the volume to which the court docket below adhered to that technique in this example.
The District Court tested the four elements permitted by means of the Fifth Circuit in James v. Stockham Valves & Fittings
Page 456 U. S. 298
Co., 559 F.second 310 (1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1034 (1978), to determine whether the departmental seniority gadget at Pullman-Standard was followed or maintained for a discriminatory purpose. Although indicating that those four factors aren't the most effective manner to demonstrate the lifestyles of discriminatory purpose, [Footnote 2/2] the Court today implicitly acknowledges that evidence of those elements satisfies the requirements of Teamsters. [Footnote 2/three] In specific, the majority is of the same opinion that a finding of discriminatory motive enough to meet Teamsters may be based totally on circumstantial proof, which includes proof of discriminatory effect. See ante at 456 U. S. 289; see also Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Dev. Corp., 429 U. S. 252, 429 U. S. 266, 267 (1977).
Given the character of this genuine inquiry, the courtroom of appeals ought to first determine whether or not the district courtroom applied accurate prison standards, and consequently considered all the legally applicable evidence presented through the parties. This, as the bulk acknowledges, is a "criminal" feature that the courtroom of appeals need to perform in the first example. Ante at 456 U. S. 282, 456 U. S. 283. Second, the courtroom of appeals should determine whether or not the district courtroom s locating with recognize to reason is supported through all the legally applicable evidence. This, the Court holds today, is normally a real dedication constrained by using the dictates of Rule 52(a). Finally, if the courtroom of appeals units apart the district court s finding with recognize to purpose, both due to the fact that locating is really erroneous or due to the fact it is primarily based on an faulty legal general, it may decide, within the hobby of judicial economic system, whether or not the legally
Page 456 U. S. 299
applicable proof offered to the district courtroom "allows only one decision of the genuine issue." Ante at 456 U. S. 292. If simplest one conclusion is viable, the reviewing courtroom is loose to locate the existence of the fact in question as a remember of regulation. See Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U. S. 809, 421 U. S. 826-827 (1975); Levin v. Mississippi River Fuel Corp., 386 U. S. 162, 386 U. S. 170 (1967).
A commonplace-sense analyzing of the opinion under demonstrates that the Court of Appeals accompanied precisely this route in examining the problem of discriminatory intent. Even the majority concedes that the Court of Appeals determined that the District Court committed "criminal mistakes" by means of failing to don't forget all the relevant evidence in resolving the primary and the third James factors. Ante at 456 U. S. 282, 456 U. S. 283. With appreciate to the first James component -- whether or not the machine inhibits all employees similarly from shifting among seniority gadgets -- the District Court discovered that the departmental system "locked" both Negro and white workers into departments with the aid of discouraging transfers. The District Court recounted that Negroes might suffer a more effect because the organization s previous discriminatory policy of brazenly keeping "Negro" jobs and "white" jobs had caused Negroes to be concentrated in much less appropriate positions. The District Court concluded, but, that this differential effect become beside the point in figuring out whether the seniority system operated neutrally. The Court of Appeals well held that the District Court erred in failing to recall the reality that the departmental machine locked Negroes into less applicable jobs.
Similarly, as for the 0.33 James issue -- whether the seniority device had its genesis in racial discrimination -- the District Court rejected respondents argument that the reasons of the IAM had been applicable. It concluded that the USW couldn't be charged with the racial bias of the IAM. The Court of Appeals held that this conclusion was inaccurate due to the fact the "motives and purpose of the I.A.M. in 1941 and 1942
Page 456 U. S. 300
are big in attention of whether or not the seniority gadget has its genesis in racial discrimination." 624 F.2d at 532. [Footnote 2/four]
As the majority acknowledges, wherein findings of truth
" are made beneath an inaccurate view of controlling criminal standards, the in reality misguided rule does no longer practice, and the findings won't stand. "
Ante at 456 U. S. 285, quoting 624 F.2nd at 533, n. 6; see additionally Kelley v. Southern Pacific Co., 419 U. S. 318, 419 U. S. 323 (1974); United States v. General Motors Corp., 384 U. S. 127, 384 U. S. 141, n. sixteen (1966); United States v. Singer Manufacturing Co., 374 U. S. 174, 374 U. S. 194, n. 9 (1963); United States v. Parke, Davis & Co., 362 U. S. 29, 362 U. S. 44 (1960); Rowe v. General Motors Corp., 457 F.2d 348, 356, n. 15 (CA5 1972). Having found that the District Court s findings as to the first and third James factors were made underneath an erroneous view of controlling felony concepts, the Court of Appeals became forced to set apart those findings free of the necessities of the surely faulty rule. [Footnote 2/five] But as soon as these findings had been set apart, the District Court s end that the departmental system was bona fide in the which means of § 703(h) also had to be rejected, given that that end became primarily based at the least in element on its faulty determinations regarding the first and the 1/3 James factors.
At the very least, consequently, the Court of Appeals was entitled to remand this motion to the District Court for the cause
Page 456 U. S. 301
of reexamining the bona fides of the seniority device below proper felony standards. However, as we have frequently referred to, in a few cases, a remand is inappropriate in which the statistics at the document are liable to most effective one affordable interpretation. See Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman, 443 U. S. 526, 443 U. S. 534 537 (1979); Bigelow v. Virginia, supra, at 421 U. S. 826-827. In such instances, "[e]ffective judicial management" requires that the courtroom of appeals draw the inescapable factual end itself, as opposed to remand the case to the district courtroom for further needless court cases. Levin v. Mississippi River Fuel Corp., 386 U.S. at 386 U. S. 170. Such movement is especially appropriate in which the court of appeals is in as excellent a position to evaluate the document proof as the district court docket. The predominant premise in the back of the deference to trial courts expressed in Rule fifty two(a) is that findings of fact "depend exceptionally upon the credit given to witnesses with the aid of folks that see and pay attention them." United States v. Yellow Cab Co., 338 U. S. 338, 338 U. S. 341 (1949); see also United States v. Oregon State Medical Society, 343 U. S. 326, 343 U. S. 332 (1952). Indeed, Rule 52(a) expressly recognizes the importance of this element by using stating that "due regard will be given to the opportunity of the trial court to choose of the credibility of the witnesses." Consequently, this Court has been specifically reluctant to remedy factual problems which rely upon the credibility of witnesses. See commonly United States v. Oregon State Medical Society, supra, at 343 U. S. 332.
In the instances earlier than the Court these days, this usual deference isn't always required, due to the fact the District Court s findings of fact had been completely primarily based on documentary evidence. [Footnote 2/6] As we
Page 456 U. S. 302
noted in United States v. General Motors Corp., supra, at 384 U. S. 141, n. sixteen,
"the trial court s commonplace opportunity to evaluate the demeanor, and as a consequence the credibility, of the witnesses, that's the purpose in the back of Rule 52(a) . . . , performs most effective a confined position [in] a paper case. "
See also Jennings v. General Medical Corp., 604 F.2nd 1300, 1305 (CA10 1979) ("When the findings of a trial court are based on documentary, in preference to oral, proof, they do now not bring the equal weight on appellate overview"); Orvis v. Higgins, a hundred and eighty F.2nd 537, 539 (CA2 1950). [Footnote 2/7]
I consider that the Court of Appeals efficaciously determined that a finding of discriminatory cause become pressured by way of the documentary record supplied to the District Court. With recognize to three of the 4 James elements, the Court of Appeals found overwhelming proof of discriminatory intent. First, in ruling that the District Court erred by no longer acknowledging the prison importance of the fact that the seniority device locked Negroes into the least remunerative jobs within the company, the Court of Appeals decided that such disproportionate effect verified that the system did not "operat[e] to discourage all personnel similarly from shifting among seniority gadgets. " 624 F.2nd at 530, quoting
Page 456 U. S. 303
James v. Stockham Valves & Fittings Co., 559 F.second at 352. Second, noting that "[n]o credible explanation ha[d] been advanced to sufficiently justify" the existence of two separate Die and Tool Departments and separate Maintenance Departments, a condition not observed at every other Pullman-Standard plant, or the creation of all-white and all-Negro departments on the time of unionization and in next years, the Court of Appeals concluded that the second one James component had no longer been happy. [Footnote 2/eight] 624 F.2d at 533. Finally, with respect to the 1/3 James component, the Court of Appeals found that, as soon as the function of the IAM become properly recognized, it turned into
"crystal clear that concerns of race permeated the negotiation and the adoption of the seniority device in 1941 and subsequent negotiations thereafter."
624 F.second at 532. [Footnote 2/nine]
Page 456 U. S. 304
After reviewing all of the applicable file proof provided to the District Court, the Court of Appeals concluded: "There is no doubt, primarily based upon the file in this situation, about the lifestyles of a discriminatory motive." Id. at 533. Because I fail to see how the Court of Appeals erred in sporting out its appellate function, I respectfully dissent from the bulk s choice to extend respondents eleven-year quest for the vindication of their rights by using requiring but any other trial.
As the majority acknowledges, ante at 456 U. S. 284-285, n. 14, this Court said in United States v. United States Gypsum Co., 333 U. S. 364, 333 U. S. 395 (1948), that a finding of fact is without a doubt erroneous if "the reviewing court, on the whole proof, is left with the exact and company conviction that a mistake has been devoted" (emphasis added).
Contrary to the majority s notion, ante at 456 U. S. 279, n. eight, I locate nothing inside the Fifth Circuit s choice in James v. Stockham Valves & Fittings Co. to imply that those factors constitute the handiest relevant standards for figuring out discriminatory reason.
This end might appear to be pressured on the grounds that, as the majority notes, the James factors are nothing extra than a precis of the standards examined through this Court in Teamsters, 431 U.S. at 431 U. S. 355-356.
As the majority shows in a footnote, ante at 456 U. S. 292, n. 23, the discriminatory cause of the IAM is
"applicable . . . to the extent that it may shed mild on the motive of USW or the Company in growing and maintaining the separate seniority device at issue in this example."
I do not read the Court of Appeals opinion on this movement as preserving anything more than that, if the USW participated in establishing a device that became designed for the purpose of perpetuating past discrimination, the 0.33 James aspect would be satisfied. Given that the IAM is a party to this litigation, its participation inside the advent of the seniority system can rarely be deemed beside the point.
It is therefore inappropriate that the Court of Appeals did now not specifically preserve that the District Court s different real findings have been genuinely faulty.
Only witnesses testified all through the short hearing that the District Court carried out at the question whether or not the seniority machine at Pullman-Standard was immune under § 703(h). Both of those witnesses were longtime Negro personnel of Pullman-Standard who testified on behalf of respondent regarding racial segregation at the plant and via the USW. There isn't any indication inside the District Court s opinion that it relied upon the testimony of these two witnesses in concluding that the device was bona fide within the which means of § 703(h). The the rest of the report before the District Court consisted entirely of 139 well-knownshows submitted via respondents, the company, and the unions regarding the improvement and preservation of the seniority system from 1940 thru the 1970 s.
This is not to say that the actually erroneous rule does now not observe to "file" cases. See United States v. Singer Manufacturing Co., 374 U. S. 174, 374 U. S. 194, n. 9 (1963). However,
"whilst the decision of the court beneath rests upon an incorrect reading of an undisputed document, [the appellate] courtroom is free to substitute its personal studying of the file."
Eutectic Corp. v. Metco, Inc., 579 F.2nd 1, five (CA2 1978). See also McKenzie v. Sea Land Service, 551 F.2nd 91 (CA5 1977); Best Medium Pub. Co. v. National Insider, Inc., 385 F.2d 384 (CA7 1967), cert. denied, 390 U.S. 955 (1968); United State ex rel. Binion v. O Brien, 273 F.2d 495 (CA3 1959), cert. denied, 363 U.S. 812 (1960).
Although the majority is accurate in pointing out that the Court of Appeals did no longer "seek advice from or expressly practice the sincerely faulty widespread" in reaching this end, ante at 456 U. S. 282 (emphasis introduced), the appellate court docket s adherence to the requirements of Rule fifty two(a) is nonetheless apparent from the subsequent declaration:
"The report proof suggests that a giant range of 1-race departments were hooked up upon unionization at Pullman-Standard, and, all through the following twenty 5 years, one-race departments were carved out of previously mixed departments. The establishment and preservation of the segregated departments seem like based on no other issues than the goal to separate the races."
624 F.second at 531 (emphasis introduced). In my opinion, this announcement is sufficient to meet the requirements of Rule 52(a), specifically in light of the Court of Appeals fashionable acknowledgment that it become sure by the truely inaccurate rule. See supra at 456 U. S. 296-297.
Whether or now not the Court of Appeals expressly dominated at the fourth James thing is irrelevant. As the Court of Appeals in reality stated, its conclusion become based on "the totality of the statistics and instances surrounding the creation and continuance of the departmental gadget at Pullman-Standard." 624 F.2nd at 533; see additionally id. at 532 ("It is crystal clear that considerations of race permeated the negotiation and the adoption of the seniority gadget in 1941 and subsequent negotiations thereafter"), and identity. at 533 ("We consider vast in our decision . . . conditions of racial discrimination which affected the negotiation and renegotiation of the machine . . ."). Even assuming that the District Court was accurate in concluding that the device had been maintained free of any illegal reason, the Court of Appeals turned into entitled to finish that discriminatory intent had been confirmed on the basis of different applicable proof.
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