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On December 13, 2016, in EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that discrimination on the basis of hairstyle is not actionable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, even if that hairstyle is closely associated with a particular race. In doing so, the Court continued an antiquated tradition in how “immutable characteristics” are viewed and declined to advance a more contemporary notion of “race,” resting instead on decades-old understandings of how race is construed. This Comment argues that with respect to race, courts should follow the Seventh Circuit’s understanding of immutability. Barring that, courts should apply the Supreme Court’s logic in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins that prohibits stereotype-based sex discrimination to discrimination based on hairstyle and other sociocultural characteristics.


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6 Apr 2023
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  • Subject
    • Civil Rights and Discrimination

    • Courts

    • Race and Ethnicity

    • Supreme Court of the United States

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 64

  • Issue
    • 9

  • Pagination
    • 34-51

  • Date submitted

    6 April 2023

  • Official Link