Back v. Hastings on Hudson Union Free School District
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
365 F.3d 107 (2d Cir. 2004)
In 1998, Elana Back (plaintiff) began working as a probationary-school psychologist at Hillside Elementary School in the Hastings on Hudson Union Free School District (the school district) (defendant). Back was to be considered for tenure after three years. After her first year, Back received excellent evaluations from her supervisors, Marilyn Wishnie and Ann Brennan (defendants). Back took three months of maternity leave during her second year. Upon returning, Back received even better reviews from Wishnie and Brennan. At the beginning of her third year, Back continued to receive positive evaluations. However, as Back’s tenure review neared, Wishnie and Brennan began expressing doubts that Back could be a good mother and still perform well at her job or that Back would work as hard once she obtained tenure, because Back had young children and was a young mother. These concerns were reiterated throughout the year. On June 13, 2001, Wishnie and Brennan gave Back her first negative evaluation, citing difficult behavior and inaccurate work. This evaluation, which was submitted to the superintendent, John Russell (defendant), recommended that Back be denied tenure. On June 18, 2001, Russell informed Back that her probationary appointment would be terminated. Back sued the defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the defendants had violated Back’s constitutional right to equal protection by firing her on the presumption that Back would be less devoted to work because she was a young mother. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Back appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Calabresi, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 177,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.