Dothard v. Rawlinson Case Brief

Summary of Dothard v. Rawlinson

Plaintiff: Dianne Rawlinson

Defendant: Alabama; Dianne wanted to work as a correctional counselor at Alabama prison but she could not meet the 120 lb. minimum weight requirement. She states that the 5’2, 120lbs requirement discriminates against the women and has a disparate impact on her gender. She also challenges Regulation 204 which states that women will not be assigned to contact positions in maximum security prisons.

Issue: Do the requirements have a disparate impact on the female? Does 204 violates title VII?

Holdings: yes no

Legal reasoning: Title VII requires: “the removal of artificial, arbitrary, and unnecessary barriers to employment when the barriers operate invidiously to discriminate on the basis of racial or other impermissible classification." -statistics show that the requirements really hurt the women way more than the men -it also discourages women from applying -Just like in Bryan v. Koch where New York City was closing its hospital and effecting the minorities, the court in this case also used second prong as legitimate objective. -disparate impact test: “plaintiff need only show that the facially neutral standards in question select applicants for hire in a significantly discriminatory pattern. Then the employer must meet the burden of showing that any given requirement has a manifest relationship to the employment in question. If employer proves, then the plaintiff may then show that other selection devices without a similar discriminatory effect would also serve the employer’s legitimate interests in efficient and trustworthy workmanship." -the court also decided that not having women in contact in high security prisons is job related because it keeps women out of the way of sexual assaults.



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