Putting the “O” Back in EEO: Why Congress Had to Act So Quickly After the Supreme Court Decision In Boureslan

Tuesday, January 1st, 1991 at 12:00 am by Anne C. Levy
Anne C. Levy, Putting the “O” Back in EEO: Why Congress Had to Act So Quickly After the Supreme Court Decision In Boureslan, 1991 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 239

This article will show why the Supreme Court, in disagreeing with most lower courts that had addressed this issue, the EEOC, and the Justice Department, erred in its opinion in Boureslan and why Congress had to act so speedily to stop the effects of this poorly reasoned decision. On the basis of the wording of Title VII, Congress’ stated purposes in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and policy arguments regarding the expanding global climate in which American businesses now operate, it should have been clear that Congress intended extraterritorial application of the Act. Allowing a decision to stand that conceivably paved the way for businesses to “quickly and cleanly” circumvent the mandates of Title VII would have been to disregard years of struggle by women and minorities for equal opportunity in the workplace, and place an official approval on the insidious discrimination which would have resulted. “Send ‘em out of the country, and we’ll get rid of ‘em there” could have become the battle cry of executives hoping to go back to the “good old boys” days of corporate America.

Author Information

Assistant Professor, Department of General Business-Business Law, Michigan State University; B.A. (1972), M.A. (1981), J.D. (1985) Wayne State University.