Contribution Between Parties to a Discriminatory Collective Bargaining Agreement

This Note examines rules of title VII back pay liability and apportionment. Part I argues that all signatories to a discriminatory collective bargaining agreement should be jointly and severally liable to injured persons for back pay. Although a union or employer may object to joint and several liability if its opponent in collective bargaining proposed and bargained for the discriminatory term, the purposes of title VII require that the parties become jointly and severally liable upon signing the agreement. Since joint and several liability fully serves the compensatory purpose of the statute, Part II of the Note looks to deterrence alone in selecting appropriate rules of apportionment. Part II concludes that when a plaintiff sues only one party to a discriminatory collective bargaining agreement, the defendant should be able to require other parties to the agreement to contribute to any back pay judgment, except when requiring an employer to pay the entire judgment will best deter the formation of discriminatory contracts.