Last week the American Constitution Society of Law and Policy released a study showing the low rates of success for employment discrimination plaintiffs in federal trial and appellate courts.
The numbers were particularly striking at the appellate level. Job bias plaintiffs who won at the trial level had their verdicts reversed on appeal 41 percent of the time. Meanwhile, plaintiffs appealing verdicts in favor of the employer won reversals less than 9 percent of the time. More here from Lawyers USA.
Because of the low success rates, fewer workers are turning to the federal courts for redress, particularly on the federal level, the study’s author said.
For example in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the number of employment discrimination appeals dropped 35 percent from 1998 to 2005 – the biggest decrease of any circuit.
The percentage drop in some other courts was also noticeably sharp:
1st Circuit: -30 percent
8th Circuit: -28 percent
5th Circuit: -25 percent
4th Circuit: -23 percent
10th Circuit -22 percent
9th Circuit: -20 percent
6th Circuit: -19 percent
7th Circuit: -18 percent
2nd Circuit: -17 percent
D.C. Circuit: No change
3rd Circuit: +10 percent
1st Circuit: +30 percent
Source: Employment Discrimination Plaintiffs in Federal Court: From Bad to Worse? – Harvard Law and Policy Review