an update for the week of april 4, 2005
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Retaliation Equals Discrimination, Thanks to Coach Jackson: When someone speaks up about discrimination they observe, should it matter whether they themselves are being discriminated against? In many instances, the law requires victims to complain, but what happens when those who complain become victims? The U.S. Supreme Court this week made the law concerning retaliation a bit more clear, in the case of Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, involving a male high school basketball coach who spoke up for the young women he coached when their school treated them unfairly.
Here's a Court That Gets It: Those whose lives are considered to be out of the mainstream, which seems to be more homogeneous by the minute these days, can find it as much of a challenge to educate the judicial system as it is to educate everyone else around them. They may not have much positive to say about the supposed qualities of judges to be learned, objective and fair. Every once in a while, however, a case comes along that demonstrates just how far we've traveled, when you can read the opinion and say that the court "gets it." In Barnes v. City of Cincinnati, a case involving a transgendered cop suing her employer, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrates an understanding of gender stereotyping and transgendered issues that is unfortunately all too uncommon in the judicial system.
this week in the courts
Smith v. City of Jackson, Mississippi  (U.S. Supreme Court; No. 03-1160)
Decision Date: March 30, 2005
Although the "disparate-impact" theory of recovery, for cases brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is cognizable under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the disparate-impact theory's scope is narrower under the ADEA than under Title VII.
Jackson v. Birmingham Bd. of Educ.  (U.S. Supreme Court; No. 02-1672)
Decision Date: March 29, 2005
Title IX's private right of action encompasses claims of retaliation against an individual because he has complained about sex discrimination.

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