Home » LAW » Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris 1983

Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris 1983

Syllabus

Respondent, a female employee of an Arizona state agency, instituted a class action in Federal District Court, alleging that the State’s deferred compensation plan for its employees discriminated on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under the plan, employees have the option of receiving retirement benefits from one of several companies selected by the State, all of which pay lower monthly retirement benefits to a woman than to a man who has made the same contributions. The District Court granted summary judgment for the plaintiff class and ordered that retired female employees be paid benefits equal to those paid to similarly situated men. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: The State’s retirement plan discriminates on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII, and all retirement benefits derived from contributions made after this decision must be calculated without regard to the beneficiary’s sex. But benefits derived from contributions made prior to this decision may be calculated as provided by the existing terms of the Arizona plan.

671 F.2d 330, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

Per Curiam…


1 Comment

  1. Deleted userFeb 25, 2015
    The law was unconstitutional and I’m glad that slowly but surely in the workplace women were gaining equality so that they would be equal to men (although there is still a ways to go).

    -Pedro Ramirez
    Reply
    Deleted user
    Deleted user
    sorry didn’t mean law I meant the retirement plans . Sorry for the mistake.
    Feb 25, 2015•Delete
    Comments above copied from original document
    Kevin Lyles
    Kyle Polak
    Kyle PolakFeb 25, 2015
    If this was unconstitutional then why did they not allow reimbursements to every woman who was ripped off by this law? I understand it is difficult, but the law was unconstitutional and shouldn’t have been in place to begin with.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 25, 2015
    Benefits given on the distinction of sex is unlawful, because a woman can be healthier than a guy and vise versa, regardless of the sex. Therefor I agree with the court’s decision that retirement plans should be made without the concern of the person’s sex.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 25, 2015
    Per Curiam: Latin for “by the court.” An opinion from an appellate court that does not identify any specific judge who may have written the opinion.
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 25, 2015
    This case reflects a continuing theme in many respects as to the value of women’s work being regarded as equal to that of men. It speaks against the “dissimilar treatment of men and women who are similarly situated.” In being decided in previous cases that the value of women’s work should afford the same level of protection to their families as men’s work does, so too, should this notion extend to the equal protection of women themselves.
    Thomas Delregno – Team 4
    Reply
    Comments above copied from original document
    Deleted user
    Deleted userFeb 1, 2015
    Arizona Governing Committee for Tax Deferred Annuity and Deferred Compensation Plans v. Norris. 463 U.S. 1073.1983

    Facts of the Case:
    The State of Arizona offered its employees the opportunity to enroll in a deferred compensation plan administered by the State. The State then outsourced this administrative authority to a number of private companies. Employees must choose one of the companies selected by the State to participate in the plan; they are not free to invest their deferred compensation in any other way. All of the companies selected by the State to participate in the plan use sex-based mortality tables to calculate monthly retirement benefits.Title VII of the CRA makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Norris filed suit under this law in District Court and won a summary judgement. The defendants in that case petitioned the Court.

    Question: Whether Title VII prohibits an employer from offering its employees the option of receiving retirement benefits from one of several companies selected by the employer, all of which pay a woman lower monthly benefits than a man who has made the same contributions.

    Decision: Yes. 5-4. Decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case is remanded.

    Rational of the Court:
    – Any individual’s life expectancy is based on a number of factors, of which sex is only one. One cannot say that an actuarial distinction based entirely on sex is based on any other factor than sex. Sex is exactly what it is based on.

    -For any particular level of benefits that a woman might wish to receive, she will have to make greater monthly contributions to obtain that level of benefits than a man would have to make.

    -Title VII requires employers to treat their employees as individuals, not “as simply components of a racial, religious, sexual, or national class
    Reply
    Deleted user
    Deleted user
    The third part of the opinion dealt with who was at fault, the employer (government) or the third party (private company). The Court said the government is at fault :

    “It invited insurance companies to submit bids outlining the terms on which they would supply retirement benefits and selected the companies that were permitted to participate in the plan. Once the State selected these companies, it entered into contracts with them governing the terms on which benefits were to be provided to employees. Employees enrolling in the plan could obtain retirement benefits only from one of those companies, and no employee could be contacted by a company except as permitted by the State”
    Feb 1, 2015 (edited Feb 1, 2015)•Delete
    Kevin Lyles
    Kevin Lyles
    what does per curiam mean?
    Feb 2, 2015•Delete
    Deleted user
    Deleted user
    Do we have to comment even though the case is optional?
    Feb 25, 2015•Delete

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