Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 19,800+ case briefs...

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
839 F.2d 302 (7th Cir. 1988)


The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (plaintiff) sued department store Sears, Roebuck & Co. (Sears) (defendant) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., alleging systemic disparate treatment on the basis of gender. The EEOC based its case entirely on statistical evidence tending to show that Sears employed more men in higher-paying, commission-based sales jobs, while women were more likely to work in non-commission sales positions that paid lower wages on an hourly basis. To rebut this showing, Sears attempted to undermine the EEOC’s statistical findings by offering testimonial and expert evidence, survey and case-study findings, and personnel and external labor market data to show differences in female employees’ general interest in and qualifications for commission-based sales jobs. The district court found numerous problems with the EEOC’s statistical analyses and made several findings of fact that led it to rule in Sears’s favor. First, the district court found that there were major differences between commission and non-commission sales, including the types of goods sold, level of risk involved, types of skills required, and normal working hours. Second, the court found persuasive Sears’s evidence of women’s relative lack of interest in commission sales positions. Third, the court concluded that the EEOC failed to challenge the evidence suggesting that women were generally less qualified for commission-based jobs. The EEOC appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wood, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Cudahy, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 506,000 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.

  2. 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 506,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 19,800 briefs, keyed to 985 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial