The U.S. Supreme Court canceled its review of a major employment-discrimination case after the parties settled the case just days before it was to be argued before the justices last week.
The appeal in BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Los Angeles v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Case No. 06-341) was being watched closely by some school law experts for its potential impact on school districts. The federal agency had sued the soft-drink bottler over the alleged firing of a black employee on racial grounds. The case dealt with the liability of an employer for discrimination when a decision-maker was not motivated by race but a lower-level supervisor had acted with racial bias.
The National School Boards Association had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case on the employer’s side. It said a ruling for the EEOC could mean school boards would have to delve deeper into district supervisors’ motivations in employment decisions.
The high court on April 13 granted BCI Coca-Cola’s motion to dismiss its appeal of an unfavorable federal appeals court ruling. The case had been scheduled for argument on April 18.
A version of this article appeared in the April 25, 2007 edition of Education Week