Holcomb v. Iona College

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In Brief

An employee’s allegations that his employer terminated him due to his association with a person of another race is actionable under Title VII.

What Happened in Court

Craig Holcomb was hired as the Associate Head Coach for the men’s basketball program at Iona College. Holcomb and one other coach – both Caucasians – each married African American women. The college decided to terminate the two coaches with African American wives but retained the remaining coaches who were not part of an inter-racial marriage. In a matter of first impression, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that so-called “associational discrimination” claims were cognizable under Title VII and permitted Holcomb to bring suit against Iona.


Related Statutes:

Civil Rights Act of 1964