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Supreme Court Rules on Title VII Discrimination

On April 17, 2024, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis Missouri. In this case, a female police officer was involuntarily transferred and replaced with a male police officer. Her rank and pay stayed the same, but her job responsibilities, certain job perks, and schedule did not. She brought a lawsuit claiming discrimination based on sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees and prohibits covered employers from discriminating against employees in the terms and conditions of their employment based on their race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. 

The question that the Supreme Court answered in this case is whether a job transfer needs to have “significantly” harmed an employee in order for the employer to have violated Title VII. The Court found that it does not. The law prevents employers from treating employees worse because of a protected characteristic—it does not matter how badly the employee is harmed if a disadvantage occurs due to an involuntary job transfer.

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