Legal Commentary: Joanna Grossman Archive


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TRANSSEXUALS, DRESS CODES, AND THE LAW: A NEW JERSEY COURT DECISION EMBRACES A BROAD CONCEPT OF SEX DISCRIMINATION
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent New Jersey appellate decision holding that discrimination against transsexuals may constitute both sex discrimination and disability discrimination. Grossman analyzes relevant precedents, including a key Supreme Court decision on what sex discrimination means and a number of lower court decisions upholding gender-based dress codes.
Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2001

THE 2000-2001 SUPREME COURT TERM ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS: A MIXED BAG OF SPLIT DECISIONS
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman views the past Supreme Court term from a women's rights perspective, finding both advances for, and blows to, women's causes. Grossman warns, however, that a single additional conservative vote on the Court would have caused women to lose virtually all of the cases affecting their rights this Term, with only two exceptions -- making the next Supreme Court Justice nomination battle a women's rights cause.
Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2001

A VICTORY FOR MOTHERHOOD AND FOR SEXISM: THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN NGUYEN V. INS
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman challenges the logic of the Supreme Court's recent holding in Nguyen v. INS, which allowed higher standards to be imposed on U.S. citizen-fathers attempting to confer citizenship on their foreign-born children, than on U.S. citizen-mothers trying to do the same thing.
Monday, Jun. 18, 2001

WHOM CAN TRANSSEXUALS MARRY? AND FROM WHOM CAN THEY INHERIT?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an unusual trusts and estates case, in which a son challenged his stepmother's right to share in his late father's estate. The twist? The son, after finding out that his stepmother was a transsexual that had been born male, claimed her marriage to his father was therefore illegal.
Tuesday, Jun. 05, 2001

THE NEW ABA REPORT ON WOMEN AND LAW: WHY THE SOLUTIONS THE REPORT PROPOSES MAY NOT WORK IN THE REAL WORLD
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman analyzes the new ABA report on women in the legal profession, and evaluates its suggestions for overcoming the major obstacles that women lawyers faces.
Tuesday, May. 22, 2001

THE SUPREME COURT'S RECENT DISPARATE IMPACT CASE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR GENDER EQUITY
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses what will happen to the claim of "disparate impact" sex discrimination, after the Supreme Court held in Alexander v. Sandoval that private "disparate impact" race discrimination suits enforcing federal regulations can no longer be brought. Grossman discusses the implications for female school applicants, coaches, and athletes who face discrimination.
Tuesday, May. 08, 2001

DISSOLVING UNHAPPY VERMONT CIVIL UNIONS: IT'S HARDER THAN IT LOOKS
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explores a little-known facet of Vermont's civil union law. It is well-known that the law promotes equality by allowing same-sex couples to gain many of the benefits of marriage enjoyed by opposite-sex couples. However, Grossman explains that while an out-of-state, opposite-sex couple that gets married in Vermont can get divorced in their home state, an out-of-state, same-sex couple who enters into a civil union in Vermont may find it very difficult to dissolve their union, unless one of them becomes a Vermont resident.
Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2001

"EQUAL OPPORTUNITY" HARASSERS: DOES A SEX HARASSER WHO TARGETS BOTH MEN AND WOMEN VIOLATE FEDERAL ANTI- DISCRIMINATION LAW?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent Connecticut case, of a fire chief alleged to have sexually harassed both male and female employees. Grossman notes that the case raises a question that has long interested legal academia: Can an alleged "equal opportunity" harasser, who is said to harass both genders, be sued under Title VII, the federal anti- discrimination statute, for discriminating "because of sex"? Or is he exempt from Title VII because he discriminates regardless of sex, not because of it? Grossman considers these questions, as well as the scenarious of the bisexual harasser and the same-sex harasser.
Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2001

WHY THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT SHOULD BE EXPANDED TO INCLUDE A DUTY TO NOTIFY AND OTHER PROTECTIONS
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the limitations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees twelve weeks of unpaid birth, new parenting or medical leave. Grossman explains the recent controversy among the courts as to whether, as the Department of Labor has stated, employers must tell employees when their leave is being counted against the FMLA's twelve-week period, rather than against other type of leave the employer also provides. In addition, Grossman argues that the FMLA should be amended to provide paid leave, and to apply to smaller employers.
Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2001

WHAT REMEDY IS PROPER FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses Pollard v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours, the sexual harassment case the Supreme Court will hear next month. Pollard raises the issue of whether the damages cap in Title VII (the federal anti-discrimination statute) applies to an award of "front pay" -- pay the plaintiff would have earned if, after winning her case, she returned to the company at which she had worked. In addition to arguing that front pay is not subject to the damages cap, Grossman explores several other interesting aspects of the case, including the fact that Pollard suffered sex-based, but not sexual, harassment.
Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2001

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