On July 15, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee entered a preliminary injunction barring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Education (ED) from enforcing guidance documents issued to interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and Title IX of the Education Amendments
Audrey Anderson focuses her practice on representing colleges, universities and educational institutions. Drawing on her over 30 years of experience gained as outside litigation counsel, government counsel, and as the general counsel for a major research university, Audrey brings judgment, creativity and practicality to solving her client’s problems across a range of issues arising from the activities of students, faculty and others in learning, living, teaching, researching and working on a college campus. Whether an issue arises under the First Amendment or Title IX, occurs in the lab, the board room or the athletics department, involves counseling, negotiation, or litigation, Audrey helps her clients find practical ways forward.
Students May Unionize After All: NLRB Withdraws Proposed Rule
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) recently announced it was changing course on whether students should be considered employees and therefore can unionize. This change of course returns to previous Board precedent from case law that graduate students, and perhaps any students employed for pay, can be considered employees. This change of course…
Supreme Court Rules that Title VII Protects LGBTQ Employees
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on Monday, June 15, in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, ruling that the prohibitions against discrimination “because of sex” contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) extend to protect gay and transgender employees against workplace discrimination. Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion of the Court with Justices Alito and Kavanaugh each issuing dissenting opinions. In each of the three consolidated cases upon which this opinion was rendered, an employee had been terminated from employment for being gay or transgender.
The three employees brought suit in three different jurisdictions. In one case, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that Title VII’s protections did not prohibit employers from firing employees for being gay, and dismissed the lawsuit. In the other two cases, the Second Circuit and Sixth Circuit ruled that Title VII did provide the alleged protections and had permitted the cases involving those two employees to proceed. These inconsistent rulings, therefore, set the following question before the Court:
Is it legally permissible under Title VII’s language prohibiting discrimination “because of sex” for an employer to take an adverse action against an employee merely because the employee is gay or transgender? …
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