Jones v. City of Boston, No. 12-2280 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs in this case were former officers and a former cadet of the Boston Police Department (Department) who were fired after testing positive for cocaine, a current officer who tested positive and underwent rehabilitation as an alternative to termination, and a former applicant whose contingent job offer was revoked after a positive test. Each Plaintiff was black. Plaintiffs filed suit against the Department, alleging, inter alia, that the Department’s drug testing program, which used hair samples to test for illegal drug use, caused a disparate impact on the basis of race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The district court granted summary judgment to the Department on all claims. The First Circuit Court of Appeals (1) vacated the grant of summary judgment as to Plaintiffs’ Title VII claim and reversed the district court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment on the question of whether they had proved a prima facie case of disparate impact under Title VII, holding that Plaintiffs proved beyond reasonable dispute a prima facie case of disparate impact under Title VII; and (2) otherwise affirmed.