Some local California governments have to give preference to minority- or female-owned contractors. Now in an odd twist, the California Supreme Court has said that such preferences are legal only if the local government can show it does in fact discriminate. That could end such preferences.
Recent case: San Francisco enacted a series of ordinances requiring preferential treatment to women and minorities in the awarding of city contracts. Two nonminority- and nonfemale-owned companies challenged the ordinances.
The lawsuit worked its way up to the California Supreme Court, which concluded that preferences are legal only if the city can show it does discriminate against those to whom it grants the preference.
A trial court will decide if that’s the case. (Coral Construction v. City and County of San Francisco, No. S152934, Supreme Court of California, 2010)