Jespersen v. Harrah's Operating Co.
|Jespersen v. Harrah's|
|United States District Court for the District of Nevada|
|Full case name||Jespersen v. Harrah's Operating Co., Inc.|
|Date decided||October 22, 2002|
|Judge sitting||Mary M. Schroeder, Pregerson, Kozinski, Rymer, Silverman, Graber, W. Fletcher, Tallman, Clifton, Callahan, and Bea|
|Subsequent actions||appealed to the 9th Circuit, and then reheard en banc, which affirmed the district court decision|
Darlene Jespersen was a 20-year employee at Harrah's Casino in Reno, Nevada. In 2000, Harrah's advanced a "Personal Best" policy, which created strict standards for employee appearance and grooming, which included a requirement that women wear substantial amounts of makeup. Jespersen was fired for non-compliance with its policy. Jespersen argued the makeup requirement was contrary to her self-image, and that the requirement violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In 2001, Jespersen filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the District of Nevada, which found against her claim. The district court opined that the policy imposed "equal burdens" on both sexes and that the policy did not discriminate based on immutable characteristics of her sex.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision, but on rehearing en banc, reversed part of its decision. The en banc majority's opinion was written by Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder, over the dissent of Judges Harry Pregerson, Alex Kozinski, Susan P. Graber, and William A. Fletcher. The en banc court concluded, in contrast to the previous rulings, that such grooming requirements could be challenged as sex stereotyping in some cases, even in view of the decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. However, the majority found that Jespersen had not provided evidence that the policy had been motivated by stereotyping, and affirmed the district court's finding for Harrah's.
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- Jespersen v. Harrah’s Operating Co., 444 F.3d 1104 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc).
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