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Kremer v. Chemical Corp.

United States Supreme Court
456 U.S. 461 (1982)


Facts

Rubin Kremer (plaintiff), a Polish immigrant, was hired by Chemical Corp. (Chemico) (defendant) in 1973. In 1975, he was laid off with several other employees. Although Kremer reapplied for his position several times, he was never rehired, despite the fact that many of the employees initially terminated were rehired. In 1976, Kremer filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging he was not rehired because of his religion and national origin. The EEOC referred Kremer’s complaint to the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYHRD). The NYHRD determined there was no probable cause to believe Chemico had discriminated against Kremer. The NYHRD’s board of appeals affirmed, finding that the agency’s decision was not arbitrary or capricious. Kremer again filed his claim with the EEOC and also petitioned the New York Supreme Court to set aside the NYHRD board’s determination. The court affirmed, and Kremer did not seek review by the Court of Appeals of New York. The EEOC also found no cause to believe that Chemico engaged in discrimination, refused Kremer’s request for reconsideration, and filed Kremer a right to sue letter. Kremer brought suit against Chemico in federal district court, alleging violation of Title VII. The court dismissed Kremer’s claim on res judicata grounds. Kremer appealed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

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