Lutz, a longtime teacher and assistant principal sued her school district in Arizona state court under the ADA for firing her.? ?The district removed the case to federal court where, over her employer?s objection that she waived her right to a jury, a jury found in her favor. ?Finding that she failed to timely request a jury, the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded for a bench trial or, in the trial court?s discretion, a ruling on the record of the first trial.? ?Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (CRA), Title VII (and therefore the ADA, which?? ?expressly?? ?incorporates?? ?Title?? ?VII?s remedies), only afforded equitable remedies. Holding that in the CRA ?Congress did not alter the remedial scheme it had established for back pay,? 42 U.S.C. ? 2000e-5(g), the Court noted that ?Congress excluded back pay for the types of damages for which it authorized a jury trial.? ?42 U.S.C. ? 1981a(b)(2).? ?Accordingly, the Court of Appeals concluded that if the trial court finds liability in favor of Lutz on remand, it cannot reinstate the jury?s verdict as to the appropriate amount of back pay but instead must exercise its discretion to determine an amount of any back pay. Nevertheless,? the? Court? remarked? that? the? trial court could if it chose accept the jury?s verdict as to the appropriate measure of pain and suffering damages because it was properly a jury issue. ?Lutz v. Glendale Union High School, No. 03-15745 (04/08/05; Kozinski, Fletcher, Bybee).
Back Pay is an Equitable Remedy Awarded at the Discretion of the Court, Not the Jury
Apr 8, 2005