Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A.
Supreme Court of the United States
January 15, 2002, Argued ; February 26, 2002, Decided
[**995] [***6] [*508] JUSTICE THOMAS delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case presents the question whether a complaint in an employment discrimination lawsuit must contain specific facts establishing a prima facie case of discrimination under the framework set forth by this Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668, 93 S. Ct. 1817 (1973). We hold that ] an employment discrimination complaint need not include such facts and instead must contain only "a short and plain statement of [****5] the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(a)(2). [***7]
Petitioner Akos Swierkiewicz is a native of Hungary, who at the time of his complaint was 53 years old. In April 1989, petitioner began working for respondent Sorema N. A., a reinsurance company headquartered in New York and principally owned and controlled by a French parent corporation. Petitioner was initially employed in the position of senior vice president and chief underwriting officer (CUO). Nearly six years later, Francois M. Chavel, respondent's Chief Executive Officer, demoted petitioner to a marketing and services position and transferred the bulk of his underwriting responsibilities to Nicholas Papadopoulo, a 32-year-old who, [**996] like Mr. Chavel, is a French national. About a year later, Mr. Chavel stated that he wanted to "energize" the underwriting department and appointed Mr. Papadopoulo as CUO. Petitioner claims that Mr. Papadopoulo had only one year of underwriting experience at the time he was promoted, and therefore was less experienced and less qualified to be CUO than he, since at that point he had 26 years of experience in the insurance industry.
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534 U.S. 506 *; 122 S. Ct. 992 **; 152 L. Ed. 2d 1 ***; 2002 U.S. LEXIS 1374 ****; 70 U.S.L.W. 4152; 88 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1; 82 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P40,899; 51 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 781; 2002 Daily Journal DAR 2152; 15 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 124
AKOS SWIERKIEWICZ v. SOREMA N. A.
Prior History: [****1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.
Disposition: 5 Fed. Appx. 63, reversed and remanded.
prima facie case, notice, employment discrimination, allegations, motion to dismiss, direct evidence, simplified, survive, merits, cases
Civil Procedure, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Labor & Employment Law, Discrimination, Actionable Discrimination, Pleading & Practice, Rule Application & Interpretation, Appeals, Standards of Review, General Overview, Class Actions, Prerequisites for Class Action, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Burden Shifting, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Motions for Summary Judgment, Notice Requirement, Heightened Pleading Requirements, Fraud Claims, Governments, Local Governments, Claims By & Against