Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA); Retaliation; Race and National Origin Discrimination; Sex Discrimination; Age Discrimination; Disability Discrimination
Gross v. Morgan State Univ. (D. Md. April 19, 2018)
Memorandum granting Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff, a former employee of Morgan State University (MSU), alleged that MSU and her supervisor discriminated and retaliated against her in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Equal Pay Act (EPA), Title VII, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Plaintiff also brought claims of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision against MSU under state law. The court found that Eleventh Amendment immunity barred Plaintiff’s ADEA and ADA claims, while Plaintiff’s claims under Title VII and GINA lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. Specifically, Plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies by neglecting to mention race, national origin, gender, disabilities, and genetic information in her administrative complaint. Plaintiff’s retaliation claims under Title VII and GINA also failed because she did not allege that she engaged in a protected activity within the purview of the two statutes. Last, the court found no factual allegations to support Plaintiff’s claim under the EPA and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s remaining state law claims.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA); Discrimination, Accommodation, & Diversity
M.A.B. v. Bd. of Educ. Of Talbot County, et al. (D. Md. Mar. 12, 2018)
Memorandum Opinion denying Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and denying Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. Plaintiff, a transgender boy attending St. Michael’s Middle School, alleged that the Board of Trustees violated his rights under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause by enforcing a policy that required students to use locker rooms that corresponded with their biological sex, or alternatively, to use one of three gender-neutral facilities. Turning to Title VII precedent for guidance, the court concluded that discrimination based on transgender status fell within the ambit of Price Waterhouse’s prohibition of sex stereotyping and thus, that Plaintiff had stated a cognizable claim under Title IX by alleging that the policy denying him access to the boys’ locker room was based on impermissible gender stereotyping. Addressing the Equal Protection claim, the court characterized transgender status as a quasi-suspect classification subject to heightened scrutiny, and determined that Defendant’s stated interest in preserving privacy rights of students was not substantially related to the policy. The court denied Plaintiff’s Motion for a preliminary injunction, reasoning that he had not sufficiently shown that he would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, since Plaintiff was not enrolled to take physical education in the upcoming semester.