The Massachusetts Transgender Public Accommodations Law: What Should My Business Do to Comply?

By now, most people in the Commonwealth are aware that Massachusetts passed a law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in places of public accommodation. In order to assist businesses and other places of public accommodation comply with the law, which became effective October 1, 2016, the Attorney General has issued Gender Identity Guidance for…

Biology Not Required to Establish Parentage

Today, in the landmark decision of Partanen v. Gallagher, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a woman may establish herself as a child’s presumptive parent even in the absence of a biological relationship with the child. I previously wrote about the history of the parties, their positions and oral arguments before the Court. To establish…

“Least Restrictive Means?” Court Grants Employer Religious Exemption from Title VII in Gender Stereotyping Case

While many recent decisions have taken up the issue of whether gender identity or expression falls within the scope of Title VII’s proscription on sex discrimination, one court recently went one step further and found that an employer may be exempt from a Title VII enforcement action based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”). In…

Appeals Court Upholds Illogical Definition of “Sex Discrimination” Under Title VII

On July 28, 2016, the 7th Circuit became the latest circuit court to rule that Title VII does not bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. The case, Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, was the first to extensively address the “groundswell of questions” raised by the EEOC’s conflicting interpretation of “sex” discrimination under Title…

Governor Charlie Baker Signs Transgender Public Accommodations Bill into Law

Today, Governor Baker signed the Massachusetts Transgender Public Accommodations Bill into law, making Massachusetts the 18th state in the nation to enact legislation to provide transgender people comprehensive protections under the law. The new law is set to go into effect on October 1, 2016 and includes a number of compromises that lawmakers negotiated, including…