JOBS: The Court Strikes a Blow for Seniority

After passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal courts responded sympathetically to lawsuits seeking an end to job discrimination in U.S. industry. The result has been measurable progress in the hiring and promotion of blacks, other minorities and women. Last week the Supreme Court took a step that seemed to brake the thrust of the past dozen-odd years. In a 7-to-2 decision, the court struck a blow for union seniority systems and weakened the basis for so-called past-discrimination suits. Through such suits minority-group workers have won retroactive seniority over...

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