Maintaining the Narrow Scope of the Bona Fide Occupational Qualification: Rejecting Gender Discrimination in Bartender Hiring

This Contribution examines whether a bar can discriminate on the basis of gender in its bartender hiring practices. Matthew Peterson (’21) argues that Title VII’s bona fide occupational qualification (“BFOQ”) exception should not shield bars from gender discrimination liability. The text and purpose of Title VII command a narrow interpretation of the BFOQ exception, and a bar catering to preferences for female bartenders is precisely the type of undesirable hiring practice that Title VII seeks to prohibit. The “essence” of a bar is making and distributing drinks, and the completion of these tasks does not depend upon the gender of a bartender. Courts should not permit bars to justify such discrimination with claims of supporting “authentic entertainment.” Unlike an actor or dancer, whose core job function is performance, a bartender’s primary responsibility is providing service.

Are Drug-Free Workplace Policies Discriminatory?

Do state laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of medical marijuana cardholder status effectively protect cardholder employees? In this Contribution, Tian Lei (’21) argues that when courts recognize and legitimize employers’ interest in maintaining drug-free work-place policies, cardholder employees become especially vulnerable to adverse employment action. This Contribution establishes that drug-free workplace policies often leave cardholder employees with a choice between their health and their job and that the scope and legitimacy of such policies must be interrogated if the law is to protect medical marijuana cardholders from employment discrimination.

Is This What We Bargained For?: Allowing the Preemption of State Law through Collective Bargaining Agreements

Can a term in a collective bargaining agreement displace state law under any circumstance? How should a court balance the need for consistent, nationwide labor standards with constitutional concerns for preserving States' police powers? In this Contribution, Micaela Heery ('19) offers an analytical framework for resolving these preemption issues under the Labor Management Relations Act. This Contribution argues that the right legal analysis must consider both whether a claim arises independently of the collective bargaining agreement and whether preemption would be appropriate given Congress' power over interstate commerce and notions of state sovereignty.