Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin

Anne is an accountant at a large Accounting Firm. She applied for Partner, but was denied. In their report, the all-male Partnership Review Committee stated that Anne would have a better chance at making Partner if she wore makeup, jewelry, and acted more femininely. Over the past 10 years with the Firm, Anne has received excellent performance evaluations and recently secured a $10M client for the Firm

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Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.  Denying Anne for partner on the basis of her physical appearance is not only a clear case of gender discrimination, but it also opens up the door for several lawsuits to be brought forward.  Anne can bring forward a complaint stating that her application for partner was denied based on her physical appearance and not on the basis of her work ethic, which, is above average to which could be evidenced by performance evaluations.

Dothard v. Rawlinson 433 U.S. 321 (1977) was a case mentioned within our text whereas an employee, Rawlinson, who felt as though she had been discriminated against based on her appearance.

“After her application for employment as an Alabama prison guard was rejected because she failed to meet the minimum 120-pound weight, 5-foot-2-inch height requirement of an Alabama statute, the applicant sued, challenging the statutory height and weight requirements as violative of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Supreme Court found gender discrimination.”

Although the discrimination was on the basis of weight and height, whereas Anne was directed to wear more makeup and behave in a more feminine manner, discrimination was still found as both women had been denied positions based on their appearance rather than their work ethic and performance.

Moving forward, in depth training shall take place that describes the types of discrimination and the manner in which it can be perceived when discussing why someone had not been considered for a position. When implementing this training, several scenarios and examples shall be given in an effort to prevent further issues amongst male and female employees. No female employee should be looked over for a position as a result of not wearing makeup or lack of feminine behavior. (Bennett-Alexander, Pg. 422)

Bennett-Alexander, D., and Hartman, L. (2019). Employment Law for Business, (9th ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill.

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