Connecticut v. Teal Case Brief

Facts of the Case

“Plaintiff Winnie Teal and three others who were black employees of an agency operated by defendant State of Connecticut filed suit against defendant in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Plaintiffs, who had been promoted provisionally to the supervisory positions and served in that capacity for almost two years, later failed a written examination and were thereby excluded from the selection process for attaining permanent status as supervisors. They alleged that the State, certain state agencies and State officials violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by requiring as an absolute condition for consideration for promotion that applicants pass a written test that disproportionately excluded blacks and was not job-related, the passing rate on the test for blacks being only 68 percent of the passing rate for whites. Before trial, promotions were made from the eligibility list generated by the written examination, the overall result being that 22.9 percent of the black candidates and 13.5 percent of the white candidates were promoted. The district court ruled that the “bottom line” percentages, which were more favorable to blacks than whites, precluded a finding of a Title VII violation. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed, holding that the district court erred in ruling that the examination results alone were insufficient to support acase of disparate impact in violation of Title VII. The State appealed, alleging that its bottom-line result that was more favorable to blacks than to whites was a complete defense to plaintiffs’ suit. It argued that the test was not used to discriminate because it did not actually deprive disproportionate numbers of blacks of promotions.”


Does a New York state statute that allows storage companies to sell stored goods if they do not receive payment violate the Fourteenth Amendment?



Case Information

Citation: 457 US 440 (1982)
Argued: Mar 29, 1982
Decided: Jun 21, 1982
Case Brief: 1982