From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
Furnco Construction Corp. v. Waters
United States Supreme Court
438 U.S. 567 (1978)
Three Black bricklayers, Samuels, Nemhard, and Smith (the applicants) (defendants) applied to work for Furnco Construction Corporation (Furnco) (plaintiff). Furnco delegated hiring responsibilities to the project’s superintendent, Joseph Dacies. Dacies hired only people who he already knew to be qualified and competent or who were recommended to him. Dacies did not hire Samuels and Nemhard although both were fully qualified for the position. Dacies eventually hired Smith long after Smith applied although Dacies was familiar with Smith and had previously employed him. The applicants sued Furnco, alleging that Furnco’s hiring practices were racially discriminatory in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Furnco argued that it was critical to hire experienced and highly qualified bricklayers because slow or shoddy work could cost Furnco money, damage Furnco’s reputation, create future maintenance issues, and create safety hazards. The district court dismissed the applicants’ lawsuit, finding that Furnco justified its hiring practices as a business necessity and that there was no proof that the practice was a pretext for racial discrimination. The appellate court reversed, finding that Furnco did not show that it had a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for allowing Dacies to hire only through direct knowledge or recommendations instead of allowing applicants to submit written applications. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, 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 604,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead 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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 604,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 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.