From our private database of 35,600+ case briefs...
Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins
United States Supreme Court
490 U.S. 228 (1989)
Ann Hopkins (plaintiff) was a senior manager at Price Waterhouse (defendant). The partners in Hopkins’s office proposed Hopkins for partnership. Hopkins was the only woman out of 88 employees proposed for partnership that year. Pursuant to Price Waterhouse’s procedures, partners were required to submit comments on each candidate for partnership. The partners in Hopkins’s office prepared a statement highlighting her success as a senior manager and praising her character. However, some of the comments about Hopkins noted her poor interpersonal skills, observed that she was masculine, objected to her use of profanity because she was female, and told her that she was more likely to become partner if she acted more feminine. Ultimately, Price Waterhouse placed Hopkins’s candidacy on hold. The next year, the partners in Hopkins’s office did not re-propose Hopkins for partnership. Hopkins sued Price Waterhouse for gender-based discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. The district court found that, in light of Hopkins’s interpersonal skills, Hopkins would not necessarily have made partner even if her gender had not been a factor. The district court did find, however, that Price Waterhouse discriminated on the basis of sex by relying on the partners’ gender-based stereotyping. To avoid liability under Title VII, Price Waterhouse had to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that the same decision would have been made absent the discrimination. The district court found that Price Waterhouse failed to meet this burden. The court of appeals affirmed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)
Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)
Dissent (Kennedy, 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 618,000 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 618,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,600 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.