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renda Patterson, a black woman, worked as a teller for McLean Credit Union for 10 years until she was laid off. She then alleged that McLean had harassed her, failed to promote her, and ultimately fired her because of her race. She claimed in federal district court that this violated 42 U.S.C. 1981, which the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Runyon v. McCrary interpreted to prohibit racial discrimination in the "making and enforcing of contracts." The court declared that Section 1981 did not cover racial harassment suits, and instructed the jury to only consider her lack of promotions and firing. Patterson lost. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that Section 1981 only applied to matters relating to contracts and therefore did not include harassment suits. The United States Supreme Court held arguments and surmised that its decision would depend on whether it maintained the interpretation of Section 1981 it reached in Runyon v. McCrary. The Court scheduled reargument to focus on whether it should offer a broader interpretation of Section 1981 than that reached in Runyon.
1.Based on the chapter reading, do you think justice was served in this case? Please explain. Why do you think Patterson waited so long to sue and how did that effect the case?
2. How would your interview with Patterson be different if you were the manager? What have you learned from this case regarding the interview process?
3. Do any of the actions Patterson alleged McLean engaged in seem appropriate? Why do you think it was done or permitted?