McKinney v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas R. Company

PETITIONER: McKinney
RESPONDENT: Missouri-Kansas-Texas R. Company
LOCATION: Alabama State Capitol

DOCKET NO.: 93
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

CITATION: 357 US 265 (1958)
ARGUED: Jan 27, 1958
DECIDED: Jun 23, 1958

Facts of the case

Question

Media for McKinney v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas R. Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 27, 1958 (Part 1) in McKinney v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas R. Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 27, 1958 (Part 2) in McKinney v. Missouri-Kansas-Texas R. Company

Earl Warren:

Mr. Laughlin, you may proceed.

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

If I may at this point I would like to emphasize that in this case we have I think no question of whether or not the employer might have exercised any discretion that he might have had with respect to a promotion or to the preferential right to this petitioner would have been entitled to had he been continuously employed.

I emphasize that here, the employer has, if he had discretion or complete discretion, exercised it by placing petitioner in the group one position of assistant cashier and permitting him to displace the nonemployee incumbent and -- in that position.

He seeks here a seniority date in the group one status that he would have had had he been continuously employed.

Felix Frankfurter:

I don't -- I'm left -- a little confused, before recess you indicated in reply to a question by Mr. Justice Douglas that what you are seeking is on the pleading the right to determine that he was in a -- he was in a position whereby he was qualified to be selected by the employer to this -- to this more desirous senior position, is that right?

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

Well --

Felix Frankfurter:

Is that what you said in answer to this question, by Mr. Justice Douglas?

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

I don't know that I said that.

I think what I --

Felix Frankfurter:

The question was that you objected to -- that this came up on a motion to dismiss which -- which rule as a matter of law where as a matter of fact you said you could prove a prior claim, is that right?

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

What I intended to say if I didn't say is that he should be entitled to a trial.

Felix Frankfurter:

To a trial.

But now you say as a matter of law, as a matter of law, he would have been appointed to this position.

Isn't that what you just said a minute ago?

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

No.

I say that as a matter of fact he has been appointed to this position.

Now, what he is entitled to a trial on is the issue as to what date he would probably have obtained this position had he been continuously employed.

And that for purposes of determining the seniority date which we think he is entitled to in the group one status.

Felix Frankfurter:

Well, I understand you again, so to refer to the question I put you before the recess, would that require -- should he complain that he wasn't put in a position to which if the employer have exercised his fair discretion he might have been, the date.

Does that mean he has to -- that we now have to send this back and it has to go to procedure under 31?

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

No, I think not Mr. Justice --

Felix Frankfurter:

Why not?

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

Mr. Justice --

Felix Frankfurter:

Can he get anymore -- can a man got anymore under this record service act that he would have had if he had continued without war interruption.

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

I think not.

Felix Frankfurter:

All right.

John G. Laughlin, Jr.:

He asked for --

Felix Frankfurter:

But if he -- if -- if under -- if the latter situation had prevailed namely, that the industrial condition would have -- under that, he merely would have had a grievance if he hadn't given the right he has under a collective bargaining.

Then why does he get anything different if not more?

And under the collective bargaining, if he isn't put -- put in a position of seniority, he can complain under your Rule 31.