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Lucas v Dole Essay

In the Fall of 1987, plaintiff Julia Lucas appeals the dismissal of her job discrimination suit. Lucas, a white woman, argues that she was the victim of reverse discrimination when Rosa Wright, a less qualified black woman, was promoted to the Quality Assurance and Training Specialist position at her job. The judge dismissed the claim, finding that Lucas did not make out a prima facie case (Open Jurist, 2011). Statement of the Problem Both Julia Lucas, a white woman, and Rosa Wright, a black woman, work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

They both applied for Quality Assurance and Training Specialist (QATS) positions at the Flight Service Station in Leesburg, Virginia. Both women, along with nineteen other applicants, were qualified for the two positions that were available. Edward Dietz, the official who interviewed the top four applicants, selected Rosa Wright and another woman named Sharon Hall as the best candidates to fill the positions. Edward Dietz did not consider Julia Lucas. Lucas believed she was reverse discriminated and took the case to court (Open Jurist, 2011). Findings of Fact It was verified that although FAA determined that all nineteen applicants were ualified, Wright did not have a current Pilot Weather Briefing Certificate at the time of her selection, a QATS job requirement.

Lucas presented other evidence in order to show discrimination. She testified to the subjective nature of the interviewing process, which consisted of five general questions concerning the QATS position. She presented Lucas v. Dole 3 evidence that her answers were detailed and job specific, while Wright’s were broad and could apply to many jobs. Evidence also showed that in July 1985, Wright was given a temporary position involving education and training of students learning about the air raffic control system. The temporary position was not advertised to other workers in the customary way, and Wright was selected before some workers knew of the opening.

Five other employees also testified that race may have been a factor in the selection of Wright and in other situations at the Leesburg facility. Favoritism there had helped create poor labor-management relations, although it is not clear whether the favoritism was racially motivated. The last piece of evidentiary support Lucas had was the comparison of her own professional experience and qualifications with those of Wright (Open Jurist, 2011).

Impact in the Workplace Reverse discrimination is a controversial form of discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group, including the city or state, or in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group” (Wikipedia, 2011). Whether discrimination is reversed or not, Conclusions The judge dismissed the case, finding that Julia Lucas did not make out a prima facie case. In other words, it was not “based on the first impression; nor was it accepted as correct until proven otherwise” (Wikipedia, 2011). A prima facie case of unequal treatment by direct or indirect evidence of discrimination is under the McDonnell Douglas framework.

To establish a prima facie case under the McDonnell Douglas framework, a plaintiff must show (1) she is a member of a protected group; (2) she applied and was qualified for a job that was open; (3) she was rejected, and (4) the job remained vacant. Lucas satisfies the basic requirements of McDonnell Douglas, except that the job did not remain open. In her testimony, Lucas admitted that she scored in the bottom third among the interviewees, and that those above her included blacks, whites and Hispanics. In conclusion, there was no evidence that racial discrimination was involved in Rosa Wright’s promotion. (Open Jurist, 2011).


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