Johnson V. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County Essay

608 Words Jun 8th, 2012 3 Pages
Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County

1. What was the legal issue in this case? What did the Supreme Court decide? Why?
The issue being considered was if the Transportation Agency violated the Civil Rights of Johnson (a male employee) by selecting Joyce (a female employee) for a promotion when gender was a contributing factor in the selection process. The review board recommended Johnson for the position but Joyce was awarded the position by the selecting official as part of a documented Affirmative Action plan. Johnson maintained that his rights were violated because Joyce’s gender was a contributing factor to the selection process, and because he was the most favored candidate the position should have been awarded
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The county could show that women constituted 22% of the Agency workforce, substantially below the area labor market. The county was also able to show that the majority of females in the Agency’s workforce were employed in positions traditionally held by women, and there were no female Skilled Craft Workers, showing a clear imbalance (Walsh, 2010).

4. Why does the Court conclude that the measures used to implement the county’s affirmative action plan do not unduly burden white males such as Johnson? Because the county’s affirmative action plan did not include releasing male employees from positions simply to be filled by female employees, unilaterally bar the advancement of male employees, include quotas, was designed on a temporary basis intended to correct an observed imbalance, and the male applicant did not have absolute right to the position the Court concluded that the plan did not unduly burden white males (Walsh, 2010).

5. Do you agree with this decision? Why or why not?
I do agree with the Court’s decision on this matter. The point of affirmative action is to correct imbalances in the workforce, and the county had observed and documented a substantial imbalance in the workforce. When observing the market for the same type of jobs outside the Agency it was concluded that this imbalance was not normal. The observance that the imbalance was not normal indicated the need for an affirmative
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