Golden Gate University Law Review


Megan Kelly


Part I of this Note reviews Title VII and foundational caselaw, including cases regarding sex discrimination and appearance standards. Part II examines the Ninth Circuit's Jespersen opinion. Part III compares the Supreme Court decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, which expanded Title VII protection to include gender stereotyping, with the Jespersen holding. Part III also explores a Seventh Circuit case, Carroll v. Talman Federal Savings and Loan Association of Chicago, and Judge Thomas's dissent in Jespersen, which both argue for inclusion of less tangible factors such as gender stereotyping in the unequal burdens test. Part III finally contends that the unequal burdens test should consider a job-relatedness element in the initial weighing of burdens based on the intent of Title VII. Finally, this Note concludes that by incorporating intangible considerations such as gender stereotyping and weighing job-relatedness in the plaintiff s initial showing under the unequal burdens test, the Ninth Circuit will better protect employees from discriminatory appearance and grooming standards.