KBK Partner Carolyn Wheeler’s Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court Addresses Fundamental Questions on Title VII Discrimination Protections

September 6, 2023

KBK partner Carolyn Wheeler co-authored an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis on behalf of the National Employment Lawyers Association, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the National Women’s Law Center. The issue in the case is whether an employer who transfers an employee to a different job because of her sex can be liable for discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 even if the transfer does not cause her “significant harm.” Ms. Wheeler’s brief argued that a transfer authorized for discriminatory reasons is unlawful regardless of whether it has any tangible or material consequences. This is so because Title VII is intended to sweep broadly and prohibit all discrimination in “terms, conditions, and privileges” of employment, including the job to which an employee is assigned.

Muldrow thus involves a fundamental question about the scope and protections against discrimination under Title VII. As Ms. Wheeler’s amicus brief explains, the unlawful consideration of sex, race, religion, or national origin in making job assignments causes harm beyond any economic consequences. To dismiss such claims is to deny victims of discrimination the very remedies Congress designed for their protection.