Davis v. District of Columbia, No. 17-7071 (D.C. Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, 47 former longtime employees of the District Child and Family Services Agency who were mostly African American, filed suit alleging claims that their terminations were unlawfully discriminatory on the basis of age and race. At issue on appeal, were the race-based claims.
The DC Circuit generally affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on plaintiff's race-based claims, but reversed as to one issue. The court held that nothing in Title VII suggests that the practices an employer uses to effectuate the adverse employment action of layoffs, whether or not dubbed a reduction in force, are exempt from disparate-impact scrutiny. Accordingly, the court reversed the "particular practice" holding and the accompanying denial of class certification, remanding for further proceedings. The court affirmed the district court's decisions with respect to plaintiffs' challenge to the college degree requirement the Agency added to one job category, and the applicability of estoppel to certain individual plaintiffs' claims.