Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


The significant developments during the 1992 survey period in the area of employment discrimination related more closely to statutory changes than to decisions handed down either by the United States Supreme Court or the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Of course 1992 will long be remembered as the year that ushered in the much publicized Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), an act that will no doubt become known as the most far-reaching employment legislation of the 1990s. Although no ADA cases have, as yet, progressed to the Eleventh Circuit level, many administrative charges already have been filed under this law, and ADA cases will certainly play a prominent role in future survey articles. Another statutory development was related to the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Almost before the ink was dry on former President Bush's signature on this legislation, numerous district courts, both within and outside of the Eleventh Circuit, began handing down decisions as to whether the provisions of the 1991 Act, including its greatly increased remedies, should apply retroactively to cases pending when the Act went into effect, or to cases filed after the Act went into effect but based upon conduct occurring before the Act went into effect. The numerous district courts that addressed this issue reached widely divergent results. Almost humanely, the Eleventh Circuit resolved this conflict during the survey period, at least within this Circuit. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will perform the same service for the nation during the 1993 survey period. With respect to purely judicial developments within the survey period, both the Supreme Court and the Eleventh Circuit rendered several significant opinions on a variety of topics, but the overall number of cases decided by both courts during 1992 continued to decline.