Labor Law

The purpose of this paper is for you to demonstrate a depth of understanding of how what is included in the protected class of sex under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act has evolved. You will be reading the Act itself, along with unedited court decisions. In order to receive maximum points, address the questions posed in each section below, discussing both the court’s reasoning and your response to it.

I. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
A. Definitions in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
1. Which employers are covered – (b)
2. Which employees are covered – (f)
3. Commerce and affecting commerce – (g) and (h)
4. Religion – (j)
5. Sex – (k)

B. Unlawful employment practices in Title VII
1. Employer practices – (a) and (c)
2. Defenses – (h)
3. Disparate impact – (k)(1)(A)(i) and (ii); (1)(C)(2); (m)

II. How sex became a protected class under Title VII

III. Case Analyses

A. Geduldig v. Aiello – 1974
1. What was the reasoning/arguments made by the majority regarding why excluding disabilities resulting from a normal pregnancy does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment
2. What is your view of that reasoning? You can include arguments made in the dissent.

B. Meritor Savings v. Vinson – 1986
1. What were the findings of the District Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals?
2. Why did the Supreme Court disagree with the District Court’s conclusions?
3. What was the Supreme Court’s position regarding the admission of evidence regarding the victim’s “dress and personal fantasies?” What was your reaction to this position? You can include reference to Me Too Movement.
4. Explain the Court’s holdings in the case.

C. Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins – 1989
1. Limit discussion of the case to the topic of sexual stereotyping.
2. There is no requirement to include anything from the concurring opinions (starting with Justice White’s).
3. How would you interpret/explain the Price Waterhouse partners’ negative responses to Hopkins?
4. Do you think similar issues could/do arise in employment situations today? Explain why or why not.

D. Oncale – 1998
1. What was the court’s finding?
2. How was the finding not dependent on sexual orientation?
3. Are you persuaded by Justice Scalia’s reasoning? Explain why or why not.

E. Bostock – 2020
(Only examining the majority opinion.)
1. What was the Court’s holding?
2. How did Justice Gorsuch support his decision by focusing on the plain meaning of several terms?
3. How did Justice Gorsuch respond to the employers’ arguments (Section II B, p. 9)?
4. How are the cases cited in Section C similar to those in this case (p. 11)?
5. How did Justice Gorsuch respond to the employers’ argument regarding the list of protected characteristics under Title VII (section III A p. 13)?
6. How did Justice Gorsuch respond to the employers’ argument regarding that people in 1964 didn’t likely expect Title VII to cover homosexual and transgender people? (Section III B p. 15)
7. What is your opinion of Justice Gorsuch’s reasoning? Did you find it compelling or do you think an alternate analysis was warranted? Support your answer.

IV. Synthesis
A. What are the similarities and differences among the cases leading up to Bostock?
B. How did the decision in each case help lead to the decision in Bostock?

Format instructions (2 – 5 points will be deducted for each instruction not followed)
1. The reports should be a minimum of ten full pages, (it is likely that 12 – 15 pages will be necessary to do a thorough job), typewritten, double-spaced, 12-point font; (you may go over the page limit, but the paper should not exceed 18 pages)
2. Organize the paper in the sections noted, with headings (the Roman numeral sections) but no subheadings, and no extra space between sections;
3. Number the pages;
4. Margins should be one inch on all sides; (many default settings are 1.25 inches);
5. Do not leave extra space between paragraphs; (many default settings do so);
6. Place your name, class and date single-spaced in the upper right corner of the page.

Additional information
1. Do not include citations to a headnote or syllabus of a court case – just the opinion of the court.
2. No sources other than those provided are necessary.

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