Rivers v. Roadway Express, Inc., 511 U.S. 298, 6 (1994)

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Cite as: 511 U. S. 298 (1994)

Opinion of the Court

a supplemental brief advancing the argument that the new statute applied in their case. The Court of Appeals agreed with petitioners' first contention but not the second. Accordingly, it ruled that 1981 as interpreted in Patterson, not as amended by 101, governed the case and remanded for a jury trial limited to petitioners' discrimination-in-contract-enforcement claim. See Harvis v. Roadway Express, Inc., 973 F. 2d 490 (CA6 1992).

We granted certiorari, 507 U. S. 908 (1993), on the sole question whether 101 of the 1991 Act applies to cases pending when it was enacted and set the case for argument with Landgraf v. USI Film Products, ante, p. 244.


In Landgraf, we concluded that 102 of the 1991 Act does not apply to cases that arose before its enactment. The reasons supporting that conclusion also apply to 101, and require rejection of two of petitioners' submissions in this case. First, these petitioners, like the petitioner in Landgraf, rely heavily on a negative implication argument based on 402(a), 109(c), and 402(b) of the Act. That argument, however, is no more persuasive as to the application of 101 to preenactment conduct than as to that of 102. See ante, at 257-263.

Second, petitioners argue that the case is governed by Bradley v. School Bd. of Richmond, 416 U. S. 696 (1974), rather than the presumption against statutory retroactivity. We are persuaded, however, that the presumption is even more clearly applicable to 101 than to 102. Section 102 altered the liabilities of employers under Title VII by subjecting them to expanded monetary liability, but it did not alter the normative scope of Title VII's prohibition on work-place discrimination. In contrast, because 101 amended 1981 to embrace all aspects of the contractual relationship, including contract terminations, it enlarged the category of conduct that is subject to 1981 liability.


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