MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.
Petitioners, L. N. McDonald and Raymond L. Laird, brought this action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas seeking relief against Santa Fe Trail Transportation Co. (Santa Fe) and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 988 (Local 988), which represented Santa Fe's Houston employees, for alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U. S. C. § 1981, and of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U. S. C. § 2000e et seq., in connection with their discharge from Santa Fe's employment. The District Court dismissed the complaint on the pleadings. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. In determining whether the decisions of these courts were correct, we must decide, first, whether a complaint alleging that white employees charged with misappropriating property from their employer were dismissed from employment, while a black employee similarly charged was
Because the District Court dismissed this case on the pleadings, we take as true the material facts alleged in petitioners' complaint. Hospital Bldg. Co. v. Trustees of Rex Hospital, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976). On September 26, 1970, petitioners, both white, and Charles Jackson, a Negro employee of Santa Fe, were jointly and severally charged with misappropriating 60 one-gallon cans of antifreeze which was part of a shipment Santa Fe was carrying for one of its customers. Six days later, petitioners were fired by Santa Fe, while Jackson was retained. A grievance was promptly filed with Local 988, pursuant to the collective-bargaining agreement between the two respondents, but grievance proceedings secured no relief. The following April, complaints were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charging that Santa Fe had discriminated against both petitioners on the basis of their race in firing them, and that Local 988 had discriminated against McDonald on the basis of his race in failing properly to represent his interests in the grievance proceedings, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Agency process proved equally unavailing for petitioners, however, and the EEOC notified them in July 1971 of their right under the Act to initiate a civil action in district court within 30 days. This suit followed, petitioners joining their § 1981 claim to their Title VII allegations.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal, per curiam, 513 F.2d 90 (1975), noting in regard to the Title VII claim asserted: "There is no allegation that the plaintiffs were falsely charged. Disciplinary action for offenses not constituting crimes is not involved in this case." Id., at 90-91. We granted certiorari. 423 U.S. 923 (1975). We reverse.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits the discharge of "any individual" because of "such individual's race," § 703 (a) (1), 42 U. S. C. § 2000e-2 (a) (1).
This conclusion is in accord with uncontradicted legislative history to the effect that Title VII was intended to "cover white men and white women and all Americans," 110 Cong. Rec. 2578 (1964) (remarks of Rep. Celler), and create an "obligation not to discriminate against whites," id., at 7218 (memorandum of Sen. Clark). See also id., at 7213 (memorandum of Sens. Clark and Case); id., at 8912 (remarks of Sen. Williams). We therefore hold today that Title VII prohibits racial discrimination against the white petitioners in this case upon the same standards as would be applicable were they Negroes and Jackson white.
In McDonnell Douglas, a laid-off employee took part in an illegal "stall-in" designed to block traffic into his former employer's plant, and was arrested, convicted, and fined for obstructing traffic. At a later date, the former employee applied for an open position with the company, for which he was apparently otherwise qualified, but the employer turned down the application, assertedly because of the former employee's illegal activities against it. Charging that he was denied re-employment because he was a Negro, a claim the company denied, the former employee sued under Title VII. Reviewing the case on certiorari, we concluded that the rejected employee had adequately stated a claim under
We find this case indistinguishable from McDonnell Douglas. Fairly read, the complaint asserted that petitioners were discharged for their alleged participation in a misappropriation of cargo entrusted to Santa Fe, but that a fellow employee, likewise implicated, was not so disciplined, and that the reason for the discrepancy in
We cannot accept respondents' argument that the principles of McDonnell Douglas are inapplicable where the discharge was based, as petitioners' complaint admitted, on participation in serious misconduct or crime
At this stage of the litigation the claim against Local 988 must go with the claim against Santa Fe, for in substance the complaint alleges that the union shirked its duty properly to represent McDonald, and instead "acquiesced and/or joined in" Santa Fe's alleged racial discrimination against him. Local 988 argues that as a matter of law it should not be subject to liability under Title VII in a situation, such as this, where some but not all culpable employees are ultimately discharged on account of joint misconduct, because in representing all the affected employees in their relations with the employer,
Thus, we conclude that the District Court erred in dismissing both petitioners' Title VII claims against Santa Fe, and petitioner McDonald's Title VII claim against Local 988.
Title 42 U. S. C. § 1981 provides in pertinent part:
"All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens . . . ."
While neither of the courts below elaborated its reasons for not applying § 1981 to racial discrimination against white persons, respondents suggest two lines of argument to support that judgment. First, they argue that by operation of the phrase "as is enjoyed by white citizens," § 1981 unambiguously limits itself to the protection of nonwhite persons against racial discrimination. Second, they contend that such a reading is consistent with the legislative history of the provision, which derives its operative language from § 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Act of Apr. 9, 1866, c. 31, § 1, 14 Stat. 27. See Runyon v. McCrary, ante, at 168-170, n. 8; Tillman v. Wheaton-Haven Recreation Assn., 410 U.S. 431, 439 (1973). The 1866 statute, they assert, was concerned predominantly with assuring specified civil rights to the former Negro slaves freed by virtue of the Thirteenth Amendment, and not at all with protecting the corresponding civil rights of white persons.
We find neither argument persuasive. Rather, our examination of the language and history of § 1981 convinces
First, we cannot accept the view that the terms of § 1981 exclude its application to racial discrimination against white persons. On the contrary, the statute explicitly applies to "all persons" (emphasis added), including white persons. See, e. g., United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 675-676 (1898). While a mechanical reading of the phrase "as is enjoyed by white citizens" would seem to lend support to respondents' reading of the statute, we have previously described this phrase simply as emphasizing "the racial character of the rights being protected," Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780, 791 (1966). In any event, whatever ambiguity there may be in the language of § 1981, see cases cited, supra, at 286 n. 16, is clarified by an examination of the legislative history of § 1981's language as it was originally forged in the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Tidewater Oil Co. v. United States, 409 U.S. 151, 157 (1972); Immigration Service v. Errico, 385 U.S. 214, 218 (1966). It is to this subject that we now turn.
The bill ultimately enacted as the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was introduced by Senator Trumbull of Illinois as a "bill . . . to protect all persons in the United States in their civil rights . . ." (emphasis added), and was initially described by him as applying to "every race and color." Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 211 (1866) (hereinafter Cong. Globe). Consistent with the views of its draftsman,
So advised, the Senate passed the bill shortly thereafter. Id., at 606-607.
It is clear, thus, that the bill, as it passed the Senate, was not limited in scope to discrimination against nonwhites. Accordingly, respondents pitch their legislative history argument largely upon the House's amendment of the Senate bill to add the "as is enjoyed by white citizens" phrase. But the statutory history is equally clear that that phrase was not intended to have the
Representative Wilson of Iowa, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the bill's floor manager in the House, proposed the addition of the quoted phrase immediately upon the introduction of the bill. The change was offered explicitly to technically "perfect" the bill, and was accepted as such without objection or debate. Id., at 1115.
That Wilson's amendment was viewed simply as a technical adjustment without substantive effect is corroborated by the structure of the bill as it then stood. Even as amended the bill still provided that "there shall be no discrimination in civil rights or immunities among citizens of the United States in any State or Territory of the United States on account of race, color, or previous condition of slavery."
Moreover, Representative Wilson's initial elaboration on the meaning of Senator Trumbull's bill, which immediately followed his securing passage of the foregoing amendment, fortifies our view that the amended bill was intended to protect whites as well as nonwhites. As Wilson described it, the purpose of the measure was to provide "for the equality of citizens . . . in the enjoyment of `civil rights and immunities.' " Id., at 1117. Then, speaking in particular of "immunities" as " `freedom or exemption from obligation,' " he made clear that the bill "secures to citizens of the United States equality in the exemptions of the law. . . . Whatever exemptions there may be shall apply to all citizens alike. One race shall not be more favored in this respect than
Finally, after the Senate's acquiescence in the House version of the bill, id., at 1413-1416, and the subsequent veto by President Johnson,
This cumulative evidence of congressional intent makes clear, we think, that the 1866 statute, designed to protect the "same right . . . to make and enforce contracts" of "citizens of every race and color" was not understood or intended to be reduced by Representative Wilson's amendment, or any other provision, to the protection solely of nonwhites. Rather, the Act was meant, by its broad terms, to proscribe discrimination in the making or enforcement of contracts against, or in favor of, any race. Unlikely as it might have appeared in 1866
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
MR. JUSTICE WHITE and MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST join Parts I and II of the Court's opinion, but for the reasons stated in MR. JUSTICE WHITE'S dissenting opinion in Runyon v. McCrary, ante, p. 192, cannot join Part III since they do not agree that § 1981 is applicable in this case. To that extent they dissent.
Briefs of amici curiae were filed by Larry M. Lavinsky, Arnold Forster, Amos Alter, and Donald A. Derfner for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith; and by Jack Greenberg, Barry L. Goldstein, and Eric Schnapper for the N. A. A. C. P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
"(a) Whenever it is charged in writing under oath by a person claiming to be aggrieved, . . . that an employer, employment agency, or labor organization has engaged in an unlawful employment practice, the Commission shall furnish such employer, employment agency, or labor organization . . . with a copy of such charge and shall make an investigation of such charge . . . . If the Commission shall determine, after such investigation, that there is reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true, the Commission shall endeavor to eliminate any such alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion. . . .
"(d) A charge under subsection (a) shall be filed within ninety days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred . . . ." Amendments to § 706 by § 4 (a) of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, 86 Stat. 104, 42 U. S. C. § 2000e-5 (1970 ed., Supp. IV), are not pertinent to this case.
"(a) Employer practices. It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer . . . to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise 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.
"(c) Labor organization practices. It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization . . . to cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this section."
"(i) that he belongs to a racial minority; (ii) that he applied and was qualified for a job for which the employer was seeking applicants; (iii) that, despite his qualifications, he was rejected; and (iv) that, after his rejection, the position remained open and the employer continued to seek applicants from persons of complainant's qualifications." (Footnote omitted.)
As we particularly noted, however, this "specification . . . of the prima facie proof required . . . is not necessarily applicable in every respect to differing factual situations." Id., at 802 n. 13. Requirement (i) of this sample pattern of proof was set out only to demonstrate how the racial character of the discrimination could be established in the most common sort of case, and not as an indication of any substantive limitation of Title VII's prohibition of racial discrimination.
Santa Fe disclaims that the actions challenged here were any part of an affirmative action program, see Brief for Respondent Santa Fe 19 n. 5, and we emphasize that we do not consider here the permissibility of such a program, whether judicially required or otherwise prompted. Cf. Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 7 n. 5.
"The trial judge noted that no personal injury or property damage resulted from the `stall-in' due `solely to the fact that law enforcement officials had obtained notice in advance of plaintiff's . . . demonstration and were at the scene to remove plaintiff's car from the highway.' 318 F.Supp. 846, 851." 411 U. S., at 803 n. 16.
"All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other."
"I take it that any statute which is not equal to all, and which deprives any citizen of civil rights which are secured to other citizens, is an unjust encroachment upon his liberty; and is, in fact, a badge of servitude which, by the Constitution, is prohibited." (Emphasis added.)
The congressional design to protect individuals of all races is further emphasized by re-enactment of the 1866 Act as part of the Enforcement Act of 1870, following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. See Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., supra, at 436.
Respondents reasonably assert that references to the bill's placing Negroes' and whites' civil rights "upon precisely the same footing," id., at 604 (remarks of Sen. Cowan, an opponent), and similar remarks might be read consistently either with the position that the measure was solely for relief of nonwhites, or with the position that it applies to protect whites as well. Respondents are unable, however, to summon any congressional debate from any stage in the bill's consideration to contradict the plain language of the bill as introduced and the explicit statements of Senator Trumbull, and others, that the bill, as introduced, did comprehend the prohibition of antiwhite discrimination.
"[A]ll persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States, without distinction of color, and there shall be no discrimination in civil rights or immunities among citizens of the United States in any State or Territory of the United States on account of race, color, or previous condition of slavery; and such citizens of every race and color, without regard to any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall have the same right to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property, and to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, and penalties, and to none other, any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding." S. 61, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., House Print, Mar. 2, 1866.
"to protect our citizens, from the highest to the lowest, from the whitest to the blackest, in the enjoyment of the great fundamental rights which belong to all men." Cong. Globe 1118.
Wilson's view that the Act applied equally to protect all races was echoed by other supporters of the bill in the House, as it had been in the Senate. See, e. g., the remarks of Representative Shallabarger:
"Its whole effect is to require that whatever rights as to each of those enumerated civil . . . matters the States may confer upon one race or color of the citizens shall be held by all races in equality. Your State may deprive women of the right to sue or contract or testify, and children from doing the same. But if you do so, or do not so as to one race, you shall treat the other likewise. . . . It secures—not to all citizens, but to all races as races who are citizens—equality of protection in those enumerated civil rights which the States may deem proper to confer upon any races." Id., at 1293.
See also id., at 1159 (remarks of Rep. Windom); cf. id., at 1118 (remarks of Rep. Wilson).
"Any person who . . . shall subject . . . any inhabitant of any State or Territory . . . to different punishment, pains, or penalties . . . by reason of his color or race, than is prescribed for the punishment of white persons, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction, shall be punished by a fine . . . or imprisonment . . . ."
That this may have been the source of the language of the amendment hardly explains its meaning. As recited above, the prescriptive portion of the bill, § 1, provided, as introduced, see supra, at 288, and enacted, see n. 25, infra, and provides as currently codified, that punishments shall be equal for members of all races. Section 2 of the bill is no different, as it criminalizes the application of "different punishment, pains, or penalties" (emphasis supplied) whether greater or lesser than what white persons would be subject to. Even were we to read § 2 of the Act as protecting only nonwhites, however, the significance of such a conclusion to the interpretation of § 1 would be slight; for we have previously explained that the 39th Congress apparently intended to apply criminal sanctions only to some, but not all, violations of the Act. See Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U. S., at 424-425.
"[A]ll persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States; and such citizens, of every race and color . . . shall have the same right, in every State and Territory in the United States, to make and enforce contracts . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, and penalties, and to none other, any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding." 14 Stat. 27.