Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in District of Columbia

my question is a little bit general, I was victim of (discrimination), I filed a complaint at the OCR. If the OCR applies the "burden-shifting framework", when the University produces a "non-discriminatory" reason, could I use the University's Handbook (policy) to show that the University violated its own handbook (policies) which proves that the produced (non-discriminatory) reason was a pretext for discrimination?

I would appreciate it very much if you give me a professional answer.

Asked on 4/04/11, 5:56 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Torrance Colvin The Colvin Law Firm

Most courts have typically found that University Handbook's do constitute a contract, though the general consensus is that the Handbook need not be precisely followed, but only "substantially" followed. There was a Howard University case that said the courts will interpret rules in a student handbook with whatever meaning a university should reasonably expect those reading the handbook to give them. If the University's stated position is contradicted by what is in their own handbook, then one might reasonably conclude that the University's stated non-discriminatory reason was pretextual under the McDonnell Douglas (burden shifting) test.

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Answered on 4/06/11, 9:26 pm

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