In Jones v. City of Boston, No. 15-2015 (1st Cir. Dec. 29, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concluded that African American former police officers had presented sufficient evidence for a jury to find that they were subjected to unlawful race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when they were fired or suspended by the Boston Police Department because they had tested positive for cocaine use.
As recognized by the court, the Boston Police Department has a legitimate need to ensure that its officers abstain from drug use. However, in testing for drug use, the Department must minimize any potential discriminatory effects.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Although the defendant may very well have acted lawfully, Judge Young's legal reasoning leaves much to be desired.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Hively v. Ivy Tech Community Coll.: Seventh Circuit seems poised to interpret Title VII as covering sexual orientation discrimination
On November 30, 2016, the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments in the en banc rehearing in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College. Based on the questions, it appears likely that the court will conclude that Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. Although it's not clear what the court's ultimate reasoning will be, most judges were apparently swayed by the straightforward, though formalistic, argument that it is sex discrimination to treat a man who is sexually attracted to men less favorably than a woman who is sexually attracted to men.