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Library Legal News

Supreme Court Will Hear Gay and Transgender Employment Discrimination Cases

Posted May 9, 2019

The Supreme Court  will review three cases involving federal protections for gay and transgender workers. The cases raise the issue of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Court consolidated two cases – Altitude Express v. Zarda, from the 2d Circuit, and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, from the 11th Circuit – which came to opposite conclusions on whether Title VII protects gay and lesbian workers. The Supreme Court limited its review in the third case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, to “whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989).” The Court will hear the three cases in the term beginning in October. See Washington Post, New York Times, SCOTUSblog.

Auditor Says State Bar’s Proposed Dues Increase is Too High

Posted May 9, 2019

California’s State Auditor has concluded that the State Bar’s proposed fee increase of $430 is excessive. Current annual mandatory fees are $383; the bar seeks to charge $813 in 2020. Bar dues must be approved by the legislature. State Auditor Elaine Howle says that the bar needs only 19 new staff, not 58 as proposed, and the proposed fee for information technology projects and building renovation should be charged incrementally, rather than all at once. Howle also recommends that the bar offset fee increases by leasing space in its San Francisco building at market rates. See Courthouse News, Above the Law.

9th Circuit Rules Dynamex Applies Retroactively

Posted May 9, 2019

The Ninth Circuit  has decided that the California Supreme Court decision Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court applies retroactively. Dynamex narrowed the definition of who could be considered an independent contractor by establishing a three-part test, known as the “ABC” test. Two bills currently before the California legislature relate to Dynamex. Assembly Bill 5 seeks to codify the ABC test in state law. Assembly Bill 71 seeks to revert to the former multifactor standard. See JD Supra, Capital Public Radio.