Legal Commentary

Archive

JOANNA GROSSMAN

Joanna Grossman is a professor and the John DeWitt Gregory Research Scholar at Hofstra Law School in Hempstead, New York. She has also taught at Vanderbilt, UNC-Chapel Hill, Cardozo, and Tulane. She is an expert in sex discrimination and has written extensively about workplace equality, with a focus on issues such as sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. She is the coeditor of Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship (Cambridge University Press 2009), an interdisciplinary collection that explores the gaps between formal commitments to gender equality and the reality of women's lives. Her research also focuses on family law, with particular emphasis on same-sex marriage and the history of divorce. Grossman has a B.A. in economics from Amherst College. She graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and served as the articles development editor of the Stanford Law Review. Prior to becoming a law professor, she served as a law clerk to Judge William A. Norris of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked at the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., as recipient of the Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship. She practiced law from 1996 to 1998 at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Williams & Connolly.

Columns by Joanna Grossman Most Recent | Page 4 | Page 3 | Page 2 | Page 1

Protection Against Workplace Retaliation: The Supreme Court Hears Argument in Thompson v. North American Stainless, Part One in a Two-Part Series
In Part Two in a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and University of Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake continue their commentary on an employment-discrimination case in which the Supreme Court will hear argument this week, Thompson v. North American Stainless. As Grossman and Brake explain, it is well-established that it is illegal for a company to fire an employee for filing a charge alleging employment discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Thompson case raises a related issue: Is it also illegal for a company to fire the person to whom the person who filed the EEOC charge is engaged to be married, in retaliation for the filing of the charge? In this second column in the series, Grossman and Brake preview the arguments that each side is likely to present before the Supreme Court, and explain the core issues that are at stake in the case.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Protection Against Workplace Retaliation: The Supreme Court Hears Argument in Thompson v. North American Stainless, Part One in a Two-Part Series
In Part One in a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and University of Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake comment on an employment-discrimination case in which the Supreme Court will hear argument this week, Thompson v. North American Stainless. As Grossman and Brake explain, it is well-established that it is illegal for a company to fire an employee for filing a charge alleging employment discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Thompson case raises a related issue: Is it also illegal for a company to fire the person to whom the person who filed the EEOC charge is engaged to be married? In this first column in the series, Grossman and Brake cover the facts of the case, the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII, the main federal anti-employment discrimination statute, the relevant Supreme Court precedents, and the relevant decisions from the U.S. Courts of Appeal.
Monday, December 6, 2010

In United States v. Flores-Villar, The Supreme Court Will Hear Argument on the Citizenship Rights of Non-Marital Children: Part Two in a Two-Part Series
In the second in a two-part series of columns on the upcoming Supreme Court case of United States v. Flores-Villar, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman concludes her commentary on the core question the case raises: Can the conditions for a parent's passing down U.S. citizenship to a child differ, depending on whether the parent is the child's mother or father? Or, is this a form of illegal sex discrimination? (Part One in the series appeared on this site yesterday, November 8).
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In United States v. Flores-Villar, The Supreme Court Will Hear Argument on the Citizenship Rights of Non-Marital Children: Part One in a Two-Part Series
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on the upcoming Supreme Court case of United States v. Flores-Villar. As Grossman explains, the case raises the following question: Can the conditions for a parent's passing down U.S. citizenship to a child differ, depending on whether the parent is the child's mother or father? Or, is this a form of illegal sex discrimination? In this column, Part One in a two-part series on Flores-Villar, Grossman covers the leading precedent on this issue, Nguyen v. INS. In Part Two, appearing tomorrow, November 9, on this site, Grossman will complete her analysis of the issues raised before the Court.
Monday, November 8, 2010

Will Gays and Lesbians in Florida Finally Gain the Right to Adopt Children?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explains the current situation regarding adoption by gays and lesbians in Florida. Grossman describes the Florida statute that categorically bans gays and lesbians from adopting; points out that Florida is the last state to have such a statute; and covers some of the laws relating to gay and lesbian adoptions in other states. Grossman also points out that the empirical, social-scientific evidence regarding children's welfare overwhelmingly favors permitting gay adoption; chronicles the past litigation over the Florida law and its genesis in the 1970s; and comments on the basis for a recent intermediate appellate court decision that struck down Florida's law -- a decision that the state reportedly is not appealing.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Sister Wives": Will Reality Show Stars Face Prosecution for Polygamy in Utah?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and Stanford law professor Lawrence Friedman, comment on the legal issues triggered by the new TLC reality-TV show "Sister Wives." The show concerns a Utah family that consists of a man, his three wives, and their twelve children. The family is now being investigated for the crime of felony bigamy. Grossman and Friedman discuss the history of the practice of, and the law regarding, polygamy in the United States, and consider whether the family has committed a crime. They emphasize the difference, in this context, between religious and civil marriage. In addition, they note that this situation poses the purest form of the bigamy question -- as there is no issue regarding sex or marriage with underage girls, or lack of consent, and the family appears to have the resources needed to support its many children without help from the state.
Monday, October 4, 2010

"The Kids Are Alright": Family Life and Family Law on the Big Screen
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist, Stanford law professor, and noted historian Lawrence Friedman comment on the legal issues implicated by the recent film "The Kids Are Alright." In the film, a same-sex couple find their relationship threatened when their children find out the identity of the sperm donor who is their biological father. Grossman and Friedman address the interesting question of whether -- under the law in California, where the family in the movie lives -- the events in the film are realistic. Could a same-sex couple create a family with a sperm donor, despite same-sex marriage's not being legal in California? Could the couple's children find out their sperm-donor father's identity? Grossman and Friedman comment on these and other questions that are raised in comparing the film to reality.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No Gay Divorcees in Texas: An Appellate Court Refuses to Dissolve a Same-Sex Marriage
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a Texas ruling that addresses the flip side of gay marriage: gay divorce. As Grossman explains, a Texas appellate court reversed a Texas trial court's grant of a divorce to a gay couple who had been legally married in Massachusetts, and then had become residents of Texas. The court's logic was that to grant a same-sex divorce, a state needs to first -- though very briefly - recognize a same-sex marriage, and that is something that Texas refuses to do. In addition to covering the Texas case, Grossman also comments on the national legal landscape regarding gay divorce -- which, she notes, still features significant uncertainty.
Monday, September 13, 2010

The Enforceability of Postnuptial Agreements: Massachusetts Weighs In, Part Two in a Two-Part Series of Columns on Postnuptial Agreements
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman continues her two-part series on postnuptial agreements -- agreements that are made after a couple is married regarding how assets will be split if they get divorced (not to be confused with separation agreements). In this column, Grossman covers the general legal landscape -- both historical and contemporary -- regarding such agreements, tracing the history back even to the time when a married woman was not considered a legal person separate from her husband.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Enforceability of Postnuptial Agreements: Massachusetts Weighs In, Part One in a Two-Part Series of Columns on Postnuptial Agreements
In Part One of a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent decision by Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), the highest court in the state, regarding the enforceability of postnuptial agreements -- that is, agreements that are made after a couple is married regarding how assets will be split if they get divorced (not to be confused with separation agreements). Grossman covers the agreement made by the couple who were parties to the suit; the reasons for the SJC's decision that postnuptial agreements are valid in Massachusetts; and the five-factor test the SJC used. She also explains why the issue of the validity of postnuptial agreements in Massachusetts had not been resolved earlier.
Monday, August 2, 2010

Is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Valid? A Federal Court Judge Says No: Part Two in a Two-Part Series of Columns on the Two Companion DOMA Cases in Massachusetts
In Part Two in a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman analyzes a recent decision by Boston-based U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As Grossman explains, the Obama Administration is seeking to enforce Section Three of DOMA, which provides that marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman for all federal-law purposes. Two cases that challenge the enforcement of Section Three came before Judge Tauro. In this column, Grossman discusses the case of Commonwealth v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, and the role that marital-law history has played both in that case, and in the companion DOMA case that Grossman discussed in Part One of this series.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is DOMA -- the Defense of Marriage Act -- Valid? A Federal District Court Judge Says No
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman analyzes a recent decision by Boston-based U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As Grossman explains, the Obama Administration is seeking to enforce Section Three of DOMA, which provides that marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman for all federal-law purposes. Two cases that challenge the enforcement of Section Three came before Judge Tauro. In this column -- the first in a two-part series that will continue tomorrow, July 20th -- Grossman discusses one such case, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management; the genesis of DOMA Section Three; and why Judge Tauro held that Section Three was constitutionally invalid as applied to the plaintiffs before him.
Monday, July 19, 2010

New York's Legislature Is on the Brink of Adopting True No-Fault Divorce: What the Change Would Mean for Unhappy Couples
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on the significance of New York's likely move to a system of no-fault divorce. The State is the last in the nation to still grant divorces only on the basis of a spouse's fault (or pursuant to a separation agreement, and after a full year has passed). Grossman explains the specific bases on which a New York divorce can currently be granted; describes the wave of 1970s divorce reform in which New York declined to participate; compares New York's current divorce law to that of other states; and considers the benefits of the recently-proposed change in the law.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lewis v. City of Chicago: The Supreme Court Protects the Rights of Disparate-Impact Discrimination Plaintiffs
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent Supreme Court decision regarding disparate-impact discrimination. As Grossman explains, the underlying claim was that the cutoff score on an exam for would-be firefighters had a disparate impact on African-American candidates, but the key issue in the case was whether the would-be firefighters had filed their claims soon enough for the claims to be timely. The Court ultimately decided that the claims had, in fact, been timely. Grossman explains in detail why the Court reached that conclusion, and traces the line of anti-discrimination-law precedent that it relied upon in coming to its result.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New York's Highest Court Recognizes A Lesbian Co-Parent's Rights, But Affirms an Unpopular Precedent: Part Two in a Two-Part Series of Columns
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman commences her two-part series of columns on questions related to a recent, important family-law/same-sex-partnership decision by the New York Court of Appeals -- the state's highest court. As Grossman explains, the Court held that a woman whose same-sex partner gave birth to a child (via donor sperm) during the course of their Vermont civil union (which is now ended), and who alleges that she co-parented that child for several years, may seek visitation with, or custody of, the child -- despite the objections of her former partner. Grossman notes that while the decision may seem to be good news for non-traditional families, that is not entirely true: She explains that the decision also left intact a New York precedent that puts those who functionally co-parent a child for years-- but who are not linked to the child through birth or adoption, and who never formalize their relationship with the co-parent -- at risk of never seeing the child again.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New York's Highest Court Recognizes A Lesbian Co-Parent's Rights, But Affirms an Unpopular Precedent: Part One in a Two-Part Series of Columns
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman commences her two-part series of columns on questions related to a recent, important family-law/same-sex-partnership decision by the New York Court of Appeals -- the state's highest court. As Grossman explains, the Court held that a woman whose same-sex partner gave birth to a child (via donor sperm) during the course of their Vermont civil union (which is now ended), and who alleges that she co-parented that child for several years, may seek visitation with, or custody of, the child -- despite the objections of her former partner. Grossman notes that while the decision may seem to be good news for non-traditional families, that is not entirely true: She explains that the decision also left intact a New York precedent that puts those who functionally co-parent a child for years-- but who are not linked to the child through birth or adoption, and who never formalize their relationship with the co-parent -- at risk of never seeing the child again.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Defending Equality in Athletics: The Obama Administration Repeals a Controversial Bush Era Policy
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent policy change related to Title IX, which guarantees equal athletic opportunity for both genders, and the regulations promulgated under Title IX. Under the regulations, a college must show, among other things, that it has“fully and effectively accommodated the interests and abilities of the members of the underrepresented sex" -- typically, women. The George W. Bush Administration's policy was that this showing could be made via a student email survey alone. As Grossman explains, the Obama Administration, while keeping email surveys in the mix, is also conducting a more probing analysis to ensure that equality of athletic opportunity truly exists.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If Sandra Bullock Divorces Jesse James, What Rights or Privileges Will She Have With Respect to His Young Daughter Sunny, Whom She Has Helped Raise?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman considers an important family-law aspect of the Jesse James cheating scandal: If Sandra Bullock divorces James, will she be able to gain either partial custody of, or visitation rights with, Sunny -- James's six-year-old daughter, whom Bullock has played an important role in raising? Grossman explains that Bullock's gaining partial custody of Sunny is unlikely, because James's ex-wife remains Sunny's legal mother. However, Grossman concludes that Bullock may have a strong hope of gaining some legally-guaranteed visitation with Sunny, in part because a family law judge has, in the past, recognized Bullock's vital role in the girl's life. Grossman also explains other approaches that Bullock might take in attempting to get more time with Sunny, such as seeking to be deemed Sunny's "de facto parent," but notes that they are unlikely to succeed.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The End of the Battle Over Anna Nicole Smith's Late Husband's Estate: Why Her Young Daughter Likely Won't Receive Any of J. Howard Marshall's Money
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on the end of the fifteen-year course of litigation between famous Playboy and Guess model Anna Nicole Smith and her former stepson E. Pierce Marshall, and later between their estates. As Grossman explains, Smith was the wife of the late Texas oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall; Pierce was J. Howard's son. Grossman chronicles the legal decisions that were rendered in the fight between the two -- which went to the U.S. Supreme Court, and most recently resulted in a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She explains why the Ninth Circuit decision is likely to be the last in this court saga,and why that decision means that Anna Nicole's young daughter, Dannielynn, is now extremely unlikely to receive any inheritance from J. Howard Marshall's massive estate.
Tuesday March 30, 2010

Annulments Based on Fraud: What is the "Essence" of Marriage? Part Two in a Two-Part Series of Columns on Traditional and Modern Annulment
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman continues her examination of the law as to when courts will grant to married couples an annulment, as opposed to a divorce. In this two-part series of columns, Grossman focuses, in particular, on a recent Colorado case in which a wife demanded an annulment based on her allegation that she had only re-married her ex-husband because he had falsely represented that he was dying. Here, in Part Two, Grossman contends that there has been a subtle shift in annulment doctrine in some jurisdictions away from a one-size-fits-all approach and toward a more individualized approach -- under which a court might ask whether a misrepresentation related to something that was fundamental to this particular marriage, rather than to marriage in general.
Friday, March 5, 2010

Annulments Based on Fraud: What is the "Essence" of Marriage? Part One in a Two-Part Series of Columns on Traditional and Modern Annulment
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman begins a two-part series of columns examining when courts will grant to married couples an annulment, as opposed to a divorce. In the series, Grossman pays particular attention to a recent Colorado case in which a wife demanded an annulment based on her allegation that she had only re-married her ex-husband because he had falsely represented that he was dying. Here, in Part One of the series, Grossman begins her explanation of the difference between the traditional and modern law and practice on annulment -- explaining how, traditionally, courts kept a tighter leash on such claims.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards v. Andrew Young: Can He Be Held Liable for Contributing to the Failure of the Edwardses' Marriage?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and Stanford law professor Lawrence Friedman, analyze the legal backdrop relating to reports that John Edwards's wife, Elizabeth, may be getting ready to sue his campaign aide Andrew Young for alienation of affections. Grossman and Friedman explain the history of claims for alienation of affections and related claims, and cover the relevant precedents regarding such claims in the Edwardses' home state, North Carolina, where the suit would be brought. They also note that a "criminal conversation" or "alienation of affections" suit might also be able to be brought by Elizabeth against John's former paramour and the mother of his child, Rielle Hunter -- and might actually be stronger than the suit against Young.
Friday, February 19, 2010

Common-Law Marriage: A Nineteenth-Century Relic with Continuing Relevance
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent decision from the South Dakota Supreme Court regarding common-law marriage -- that is, marriage that occurs by agreement, not through the license and solemnization that traditional marriage requires. Grossman covers the facts of the South Dakota case -- in which a man died, and his daughters and a woman claiming to be his common-law wife clashed over his estate. She also explains the genesis of common-law marriage, surveys the state of common-law marriage today, and notes why this unusual relationship is still legally relevant today, despite the fact that most states do not allow it.
Monday, February 1, 2010

Time to Revisit Baby M.? A New Jersey Court Refuses to Enforce a Surrogacy Agreement, Part Two
In Part Two in a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman continues her discussion of a recent New Jersey trial court decision that recalls -- and was based upon the precedent of -- the famous Baby M. case. In the Baby M. case, a surrogate mother refused to relinquish her claim to a baby that she had carried, and for which she had provided the egg, and the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld her claim to be the baby's legal mother. In the new case, as Grossman explains, the surrogate was simply a gestational carrier, with no genetic relationship to the child -- yet the trial court still deemed the surrogate to be the child's legal mother. In this column, Grossman covers the arguments as to why the Baby M. precedent might -- and might not -- be thought to determine the result in the recent New Jersey case.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time to Revisit Baby M?: A Trial Court Refuses to Enforce a Surrogacy Agreement, Part One
In Part One in a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent New Jersey trial court decision that recalls -- and was based upon the precedent of -- the famous Baby M. case. In the Baby M. case, a surrogate mother refused to relinquish her claim to a baby that she had carried, and for which she had provided the egg, and the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld her claim to be the baby's legal mother. In the new case, as Grossman explains, the surrogate was simply a gestational carrier, with no genetic relationship to the child -- yet the trial court still deemed the surrogate to be the child's legal mother. In this column, Grossman covers the Baby M. precedent and the development of surrogacy law in America; in Part Two in the series, appearing tomorrow, she will discuss the recent New Jersey decision.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New York's Highest Court Upholds Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses in Narrow Ruling
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent decision by the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, regarding benefits for same-sex spouses. She contends that the decision, while correct in approving the benefits, was far too narrow. Grossman points out that it is a well-established rule that New York recognizes marriages that are validly celebrated in other states or countries. Accordingly, she argues that the court was wrong to rest its ruling on technicalities, and should instead have adopted the logic of the concurring opinion -- which would have simply stated the rule that New York recognizes same-sex marriages that were validly celebrated elsewhere, even if those marriages are disfavored by some, and applied that rule to same-sex marriages.
Tuesday November 24, 2009

Courts Divide Over the Constitutionality of Sex Toy Bans
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent Alabama Supreme Court decision upholding the state's ban on the use of sex toys. Does such a ban violate the U.S. Constitution? That question has split the two federal appellate courts that have considered it. Grossman describes the Alabama law and its stated purpose, provides a brief history of similar laws in the U.S., and covers recent related precedents. In addition, she notes that it may be time for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up this issue -- in light of the ambiguity of the key Supreme Court precedent in this area of law, Lawrence v. Texas -- but wonders if the Court will be brave enough to do so.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Are There Lessons About Sexual Harassment in the David Letterman Scandal?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on the possible legal repercussions of the scandal over David Letterman's admission (prompted by an alleged extortion plot) that he has had sex with female employees who work, or worked in the past, on his show. Grossman cautions that we do not now know enough of the facts regarding the Letterman situation to determine for certain whether illegal sexual harassment occurred, but she describes possible scenarios that, under the law, could be troubling. She covers both the possibility of suits by women with whom Letterman had relationships, and suits by other employees (whether male or female) who may have felt they were denied the kind of favoritism that his paramours enjoyed. In addition, Grossman comments upon the statement that the National Organization for Women made in the wake of the Letterman scandal.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: A Preliminary Report, Part Three
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and U. Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake continue their three-part series on the Supreme Court's Ledbetter decision, regarding the statute of limitations for pay discrimination, and the federal statute that supersedes that decision. In this column, Part Three and the last in the series, Grossman and Brake focus on three questions: (1) What discriminatory practices are encompassed within the Act's reference to a "compensation decision or other practice"?; (2) Does the Act have any effect on statutes that it did not specifically amend, but that are interpreted with reference to Title VII law?; and (3) Does the Court's decision have continuing vitality with respect to Title VII cases that are not directly covered by the Act, but involve concerns similar to those that drove the passage of the Act.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: A Preliminary Report, Part Two
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and U. Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake continue their three-part series on the Supreme Court's Ledbetter decision regarding the statute of limitations for pay discrimination, and the federal statute that supersedes that decision. In this column, Part Two in the series, Grossman and Brake examine some questions that the lower federal courts are confronting regarding the Act: How broadly should courts construe the Act’s coverage of employment decisions that discriminate in compensation? And, what constitutes a "discriminatory compensation decision or other practice" as defined in the Act? They focus in particular on a significant case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: A Preliminary Report, Part One
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and U. Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake embark upon the first column in their three-part series on the Supreme Court's Ledbetter decision regarding the statute of limitations for pay discrimination, and the federal statute that supersedes that decision. In this column, Grossman and Brake brief readers on both the Act and the decision that prompted it -- which, as Justice Ginsburg eloquently stated in dissent, held that “Any annual pay decision not contested immediately (within 180 days) ... becomes grandfathered, a fait accompli beyond the province of Title VII ever to repair."
Monday, September 28, 2009

Unfinished Business: Difference, Leadership, and Women's Equal Citizenship, Part Two of a Two-Part Series
In a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and Boston University law professor Linda McClain discuss the continuing impediments to women's equality, on both the domestic and international fronts. The series draws upon their recently-published essay collection, "Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship." Here, in Part Two of the series, Grossman and McClain discuss how gender equality issues relate to, and play out in, international policy and politics. In particular, they discuss the different meanings of "citizenship" and how different kinds of citizenship are being denied to women across the globe; Hillary Clinton's "new gender agenda"; and the importance of women's international economic empowerment.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Unfinished Business: Difference, Leadership, and Women's Equal Citizenship Part One of a Two-Part Series
In a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and Boston University law professor Linda McClain discuss the continuing impediments to women's equality, on both the domestic and international fronts. In the series, they draw on their recently-published essay collection, "Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship." Here, in Part One of the series, Grossman and McClain consider the extent to which the Obama presidency has affected identity politics, and the relevance to gender issues of the Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin candidacies. They also focus on the confirmation process of now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor as showing why gender (as well as ethnicity) still matters in politics, and they note the importance of the work of the new White House Council on Women and Girls.
Monday, August 31, 2009

The State of the Same-Sex Union: Part Three in a Three-Part Series
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and Cardozo law professor Edward Stein conclude their three-part series on the current and future state of same-sex unions in America. In this final installment, Part Three, Grossman and Stein answer the following question: Will same-sex marriages that are validly celebrated in one state also be recognized in other states? As they explain, the answer is complicated, varying state by state, in part because the relevant law is unprecedented and quite recent -- with most states' laws on this point having been enacted primarily over the last ten years.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The State of the Same-Sex Union: Part Two in a Three-Part Series
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and Cardozo law professor Edward Stein continue their series on the current and future state of same-sex unions in America. In this installment, Part Two, Grossman and Stein describe the sliding scale of rights regarding the formal recognition of same-sex relationships in various states -- including rights to marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. They also describe how anti-same-sex-marriage states have put their prohibitions into law. Finally, they point to facts that suggest that while same-sex marriage may gain some modest legal support around the country in the near future, the current state of affairs nationwide will not soon change dramatically.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The State of the Same-Sex Union: Part One in a Three-Part Series
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and Cardozo law professor Edward Stein explain the early history of attempts to establish a right to same-sex marriage, in the first of a three-part series of columns constituting a "state of the nation" report on the legal history of the fight for same-sex marriage rights. As Grossman and Stein explain, attempts to establish a right to same-sex marriage began in America as early as the 1970's, but were rebuffed. However, additional lawsuits in the late 1980's and early 1990's advanced the movement, with some rights of same-sex partners being recognized. Grossman and Stein detail the rights movement's early victories and defeats -- ending this Part in their series with a discussion of the important Supreme Court decisions relating to same-sex marriage by Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Supreme Court Curtails Federal Protection Against Age Discrimination
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman analyzes the majority and dissent in a controversial recent Supreme Court case concerning age discrimination. As Grossman explains, a majority of the Supreme Court held that employees suing under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) cannot invoke the “mixed-motive” theory -- which makes it easier to prove discrimination when there is evidence of both legitimate and illegitimate motives for a firing, demotion, or other adverse employment action. Grossman notes that the mixed-motive theory can still be invoked by those suing for race or sex discrimination under Title VII -- and argues that Congress should now supersede the Court's ruling by making the theory available to ADEA plaintiffs too.
Thursday, June 25, 2009

When Same-Sex Couples Adopt: Problems of Interstate Recognition
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses some of the legal complexities that can affect same-sex couples who adopt children. After summarizing the current state of the law nationwide regarding same-sex couples' parenting, Grossman focuses on two recent cases from New York and Florida that both raise the following issue: What happens when same-sex partners become parents in one state, but then move to a state that does not accord the same protection to the partners’ respective parent-child relationships? She notes that, oddly, partners in same-sex couples may sometimes be well-advised to seek a formal adoption degree even as to children of whom they are biological parents -- and explains how adoption can serve as both a sword and a shield for parents in same-sex relationships.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

AT&T v. Hulteen: The Supreme Court Deals a Blow to Once-Pregnant Retirees
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman analyzes the Supreme Court's recent decision in a case that raised the question whether retiring female workers must legally get credit for time when they were compelled to take leave due to pregnancy-related disability. Currently, the law requires that employers must treat pregnancy-related disability like another other disability, with respect to leave, but at the time the women's leaves were taken, the law was arguably different. Grossman explains the reasoning of both Justice Souter's opinion for the majority and Justice Ginsburg's dissent, and argues that Ginsburg was correct that the women were legally entitled, upon their retirement, to credit for the leave they took.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

EEOC Recommends Employer "Best Practices" to Promote Work/Family Balance
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a new set of "best practices" issued by the Obama Administration's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and designed to provide relief to caregivers who must balance commitments to family members and work commitments. Grossman describes the EEOC's new philosophy -- going beyond combatting discrimination to seek to affirmatively improve work/life balance for workers -- and details the way that workers will likely be affected. She also notes how work/family issues and gender equality issues may intersect, in light of the disproportionate number of women who serve as caregivers.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Vermont Legislature, Inventor of the "Civil Union," Grants Full Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples: Why It Decided Civil Unions Were Not Sufficient to Ensure Equality
FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting Vanderbilt law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the reasons that convinced the Vermont legislature -- without any prompting from the state's courts -- to grant full marriage rights to same-sex couples. As Grossman explains, the same legislature that begrudgingly invented the civil union as a marriage alternative has now concluded, based on the evidence presented to it, that in practice, civil-union couples are not treated as the equal of married couples. In this case, Grossman notes, "separate but equal" proved truly unequal in real-world scenarios where civil-union couples confronted obstacles married couples did not face.
Monday, April 13, 2009

The Iowa Supreme Court Appeals to Iowa's Constitution and Iowan Values to Strike Down State Ban on Same-Sex Marriage – and Renders the Practice Once Again Legal In Three (Make that Four) States
Recently, the Iowa Supreme Court made headlines by striking down gay marriage as contrary to Iowa's constitution. FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting Vanderbilt law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and Boston University law professor Linda McClain offer a careful, detailed analysis of the Iowa Supreme Court's opinion, and especially of its emphasis on why upholding a ban on same-sex marriage would clash with what it means to be an Iowan. Grossman and McClain also consider the significance of this heartland state's defining equality to encompass a right to same-sex marriage, and place the ruling in the context of other same-sex marriage developments nationwide.
Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who's Your Daddy? A New York Court Says the Answer Doesn't Matter When the Court Is Dividing Marital Property
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a notable New York appellate case that confronted the question whether it is relevant to a divorce court's division of marital property if one of the wife's children, born during the marriage, was not, in fact, fathered by her husband -- but she claimed otherwise. The New York appellate court decided that this revelation about the child's parentage and its concealment was not sufficient to affect the marital-property division, and Grossman explains why its decision was likely the right one, given the relevant law and history.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sex-Stereotyping and Dress Codes Under Title VII: Why Courts Can't Get it Right
FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting Vanderbilt law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a series of cases decided after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, that employers cannot penalize employees for failure to conform to gender stereotypes. As Grossman explains, courts have carved out exceptions to this principle to allow sex-specific dress codes -- including even those forcing women to adopt a highly-sexualized appearance -- but it's unclear what, if any, basis there is for the exceptions. Grossman focuses, in particular, on a case where the court acknowledged that men could not be punished for having a feminine appearance, yet still upheld a grooming policy as applied to a biologically male transsexual.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: President Obama's First Signed Bill Restores Essential Protection Against Pay Discrimination
FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting Vanderbilt law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the first bill that President Obama has signed into law; Grossman attended the signing as the co-author of an amicus brief in the case. As Grossman explains, the new law reverses the effect of a prior Supreme Court ruling that had held that women could not challenge pay discrimination based on sex unless they discovered it soon after receiving the first paycheck that was affected -- meaning that twenty- or thirty-year-old discrimination could persist with no remedy. Grossman explains the new law, the Supreme Court decision it overruled, and why the law -- though it will help women nationwide -- ironically will be unable to assist the woman for whom it is named.
Friday, Feb. 13, 2009

The Supreme Court Restores Title VII’s Protection Against Retaliation, but Employees Still Face Gaps in Retaliation Law
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and U. Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake comment on a recent, significant, unanimous Supreme Court decision in the area of employment discrimination. As Grossman and Brake explain, the Court held that when an employee conducts an internal investigation of sexual harassment charges, employees who participate (but have not themselves brought complaints) are protected from retaliation from their employer based on the evidence they provide. Grossman and Brake argue that the Court's decision is clearly correct, but also explain how the Court, by invoking a separate legal provision, could more fully protect employees in the future.
Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009

Separate is Not Equal, According to the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission:The Implications of Its Findings that the Civil Union Alternative "Invites and Encourages Unequal Treatment"
FindLaw columnist, Vanderbilt visiting law professor, and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent development regarding same-sex marriage in New Jersey. In 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court had held that same-sex couples were entitled to the benefits -- but not the name -- of marriage. Subsequently, the New Jersey legislature enacted a civil union law. Now, however, a New Jersey commission on the subject has concluded that the civil union status -- far from providing the same benefits as marriage -- actually "invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children." Grossman considers the possible consequences of this finding for New Jersey, and places it in the context of other states' same-sex marriage issues as well.
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009

Prenuptial Agreements: The Iowa Supreme Court Takes a Strong Pro-Enforcement Stance
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent, significant decision from the Iowa Supreme Court regarding prenuptial agreements (commonly nicknamed "prenups"). Grossman also explains, more generally, how such agreements have developed in America, and the different approaches regarding how they should be interpreted, and how far they can go. In addition, she proposes a hybrid approach to interpreting prenuptial agreements that borrows elements from two popular approaches -- including the one the Iowa Supreme Court adopted.
Tuesday, Jan. 06, 2009

Adoption Rights for Gays and Lesbians in Florida: A Trial Court Rules That the State's Longstanding Ban Must End
FindLaw columnist, visiting Vanderbilt law professor, and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent Florida state court decision striking down a state law banning gay persons from adopting children. In addition to explaining the basis for the state court decision, Grossman argues that the law should have been struck down earlier as violating the federal Constitution, in the context of a case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Grossman also discusses why adoption laws that do not expressly mention gay persons (as the Florida law did), but still clearly apply to them, are less likely to be struck down.
Tuesday, Dec. 09, 2008

Why the New Administration Should Focus on Workplace Equality: Some Easy Fixes for Important Problems
FindLaw columnist, visiting Vanderbilt law professor, and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman describes four key ways in which the Obama Administration could improve workplace equality in America, by eliminating discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation. She also notes that some of the solutions would be relatively easy for the Obama Administration to accomplish, by simply reversing prior Bush Administration policies or signing legislation President Bush had threatened to veto. Among the topics Grossman covers are pay discrimination, rules that make anti-discrimination law harder to enforce, possible changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the recognition of the rights of gay, lesbian, and transgender workers not to suffer discrimination.
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008

The Thirtieth Anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Cause for Celebration, but also Reflection on the Progress Yet to be Made
FindLaw columnist, Vanderbilt visiting law professor, and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman considers, on the thirtieth anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, how much progress has been made -- and still has yet to be made -- in ensuring workplace equality for pregnant women. Grossman explains the legal developments that have brought us to our current situation, and argues that a final step urgently needs to be taken: Pregnant women should be protected from workplace discrimination not only when they are functioning just as they would if they were not pregnant, but also when pregnancy leads to temporary disability. Grossman notes that this type of protection is especially important for women who work in non-traditional jobs that are especially strenuous or hazardous.
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008

And Connecticut Makes Three: The State's Highest Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting Vanderbilt law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the Connecticut Supreme Court's recent decision rejecting the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Grossman analyzes the court's reasoning, and explains the division over whether granting the right to enter into civil unions to gay couples means they need not also be afforded marriage rights. She also puts the Connecticut decision in the context of same-sex marriage and civil union developments across the country.
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008

Why A Federal District Court's Decision Is a Victory for Transsexuals' Right Not to Face Employment Discrimination
FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and Vanderbilt visiting law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an interesting and significant recent decision concerning a male-to-female transsexual who suffered employment discrimination. As Grossman explains, the law's protection of transsexuals' rights is complicated, for federal law does not directly protect them. Thus, transsexuals must sue under laws against gender discrimination, invoking the landmark Price Waterhouse Supreme Court decision, which holds that one kind of gender discrimination is gender stereotyping. In the case on which Grossman focuses, a transsexual successfully used this approach to argue that she had been illegally denied a job as a terrorism specialist with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress.
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008

The California Supreme Court Rules That Fertility Doctors Must Make Their Services Available to Lesbians, Despite Religious Objections
FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting Vanderbilt law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an important recent California Supreme Court decision that held that, under California law, a doctor or medical practice that generally offers intra-uterine insemination (IUI) to women seeking to become pregnant cannot deny IUI to lesbians on the basis of claimed religious objections. Grossman explains the relevant California law in this area, and how it differs from federal law and the law of other states.
Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2008

Can a Woman be Fired for Absenteeism Related to Fertility Treatments? A Federal Court of Appeals Says No.
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an interesting recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, interpreting the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). In the case, a female employee was fired after she had taken two leaves to complete in vitro fertilization treatment (IVF) -- which commonly requires time off from work for women who undergo it. Grossman explains why the Seventh Circuit held that to fire an employee due to IVF-related absenteeism violates the PDA, despite the fact that infertility, unlike pregnancy, is a condition experienced by men and women alike.
Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008

Going to the Dogs? Leona Helmsley's Dog, Trouble, Has Her Trust Slashed, but the Rest of the Nation's Dogs May be Sitting Pretty
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the law surrounding the much-maligned multi-billion-dollar trust that hotel magnate Leona Helmsley created for the care and feeding of her dog, Trouble. Grossman explains why a court reduced Trouble's trust, but also why a large share of Helmsley's billions may go to charities devoted to the care and feeding of dogs generally.
Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2008

The Virginia Supreme Court Enforces Vermont's Custody and Visitation Order Regarding a Same-Sex Couple's Child: Why an Anti-Same-Sex-Marriage State Recognized a Same-Sex Union For This Purpose
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an interesting recent judicial decision regarding same-sex unions. The case arose when a lesbian couple entered into a civil union in Vermont, where they then resided. One of the women used anonymous donor sperm to give birth to a child that the two women agreed to raise together; however, her partner did not adopt the child. When the couple dissolved their civil union, the biological mother sought to deny visitation to her former civil-union partner, despite a Vermont court's visitation order. Grossman explains why the Virginia Supreme Court court held that visitation was required, despite the fact that Virginia is a strongly anti-same-sex-unions state.
Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2008

The Supreme Court Holds that an Important Federal Civil Rights Law, Section 1981, Prohibits Retaliation as Well as Discrimination
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent Supreme Court decision that held that a federal statute protecting employees from discrimination in contracting also protects them from retaliation by their employers when they complain of such discrimination. Grossman contends that this decision was absolutely the correct one and, indeed, so plainly correct that it is a bit surprising the Court chose to take the case on. She also explains why Section 1981, the provision at issue, remains important despite some overlap between it and other antidiscrimination statutes.
Tuesday, Jun. 10, 2008

The California Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples: Why Domestic Partnerships Are Not Enough: Part Two in a Two-Part Series of Columns
Recently, the California Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex couples to marry, ruling that the state's current ban violates both the equal protection and due process guarantees in the California constitution. Importantly, the court held that same-sex couples must have access to "marriage," rather than to some alternative, but equivalent legal status such as the civil union or the domestic partnership. In Part One of this series of columns, we considered why the California court held the name "marriage" to be part of the constitutionally-guaranteed right -- rather than focusing, as the highest courts in some other states have, upon ensuring same-sex couples access to the material benefits and obligations of marriage.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The California Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples: Why Domestic Partnerships Are Not Enough: Part One in a Two-Part Series of Columns
In the first in a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and Boston University law professor Linda McClain consider a number of interesting issues surrounding the California Supreme Court's recent decision holding that the state constitution requires that California grant same-sex couples an equal right to marry. In particular, Grossman and McClain discuss how the California decision affected the national legal landscape in this area; explain the evolution of California's marriage and domestic partnership laws; and consider the significance of whether same-sex unions are dubbed "marriages" or go by an alternate name such as "domestic partnerships" or "civil unions."
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Heath Ledger's Estate: Why Daughter Matilda, Who Was Left Nothing in Her Father's Will, Might Have a Claim to Everything Part Two in a Two-Part Series
FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist Mitchell Gans, both Hofstra law professors, continue their two-part series on the trusts and estates law questions arising from the recent, untimely death of the actor Heath Ledger. In this column, Part Two, Grossman and Gans consider which jurisdiction's law may apply with respect to pivotal questions regarding Ledger's will and estate -- with the possibilities including California, New York, and Australia. Their analysis leads to the interesting result that, even though Ledger's daughter Matilda was not mentioned in his will (which preceded her birth), she is still likely to inherit Ledger's entire estate.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Heath Ledger's Estate: Why Daughter Matilda, Who Was Left Nothing in Her Father's Will, Might Have a Claim to Everything Part One in a Two-Part Series
FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist Mitchell Gans, both Hofstra law professors, begin their two-part series on the trusts and estates law questions arising from the recent and untimely death of the actor Heath Ledger. In this column, Grossman and Gans explain why Ledger's daughter Matilda could inherit his entire estate even though she was omitted from his will (probably inadvertently, as it was written prior to her birth). Yet they also note that, in an odd twist, if tabloid reports that Ledger fathered another daughter, prior to the will's writing, are accurate, then both that daughter and Matilda may be left without legacies.
Monday, May 12, 2008

A Marked Increase in Pregnancy Discrimination Claims and Other Key Developments Illustrate the Continuing Struggle of Pregnant Workers - Including Pregnant Attorneys: Part Two in a Two-Part Series of Columns
In Part Two of a two-part series of columns on pregnancy discrimination, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the two rights the Pregnancy Discrimination Act recognizes for pregnant workers -- the right not to be subject to adverse treatment and stereotyping, and the right to be treated as well as other temporarily-disabled employees. Grossman argues that, while these rights do represent progress from the pre-PDA past, they still do not achieve full equality, since there are important gaps in the PDA's protections.
Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2008

A Marked Increase In Pregnancy Discrimination Claims and Other Key Developments Illustrate the Continuing Struggle of Pregnant Workers: Part One in a Two-Part Series of Columns
In Part One of a two-part series of columns about the law of pregnancy discrimination, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the recent increase in pregnancy discrimination claims and related developments. She explains the significance of these events against the backdrop of the development of pregnancy discrimination law, through both Supreme Court decisions and the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2008

Eliot Spitzer's Fall from Grace: Reflections from a Feminist Perspective
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and Boston University law professor Linda McClain consider what significance the Eliot Spitzer scandal should have for feminists. Grossman and McClain begin by discussing the details and philosophy of the anti-prostitution law Spitzer signed while in office, noting that he even insisted a particular provision be added to toughen the law. They then consider how Spitzer's hypocrisy might fit into the contrasting perspectives of second-wave and third-wave feminists, respectively.
Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2008

The Supreme Court Takes a Broad Approach in Interpreting the Age Discrimination in Employment Act: A Surprising Opinion from a Formalistic Court
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). As Grossman explains, the Court took a substantive -- rather than a formalistic -- approach in deciding what kind of document, submitted to the EEOC, can count as an employee's "charge." The issue matters greatly because a "charge" is necessary to start the clock on the 60-day period that must expire before an employee can validly file an ADEA suit. Grossman contrasts this ruling favorably with other recent Court anti-discrimination law rulings that, she argues, have caused employees to lose based on technicalities.
Tuesday, Mar. 04, 2008

The Supreme Court Agrees to Review a Sixth Circuit Ruling that Narrowly Construes Title VII's Protection Against Retaliation
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and U. Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake comment on a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Sixth Circuit that the Supreme Court has opted to review. As Grossman and Brake explain, the Sixth Circuit decision holds that employees who participate in good faith in a company's internal investigation of a sexual harasshment complaint are not protected from suffering retaliation from the company as a result of their doing so. Grossman and Brake argue that this holding is completely at odds with prior Supreme Court precedent rewarding employers for conducting such internal reviews by potentially limiting their legal liability when they do so.
Thursday, Feb. 07, 2008

A New York Appellate Court Gives Effect to a Canadian Same-Sex Marriage: Using Traditional Rules to Validate a Non-Traditional Marriage
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent and very significant New York appellate ruling holding that while New York law does not authorize same-sex marriages, it does authorize their recognition when the marriage occurs outside of New York. As a result of this holding, the court also reasoned that it was discriminatory for an employer to grant spousal healthcare benefits to opposite-sex, but not same-sex, spouses. The ruling opens the way for New York same-sex couples to marry elsewhere and have their marriages fully recognized by the state, so that they are on a par with opposite-sex couples when they return to New York.
Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2008

New Technologies, New Problems: The Arkansas Supreme Court Rules Against an Inheritance Claim by a Posthumously-Conceived Child
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman considers a legal issue raised by in vitro fertilization technology: Can a child born from an embryo that was created before her father died, but that was implanted in her mother's uterus after he died, receive his "death benefits," such as Social Security benefits? Grossman explains how a number of states have answered this question, how the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled, and why that ruling was arguably in error.
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008

Britney Spears: Why She Lost Visitation Rights, And What Her Case Teaches Us About Family Law
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman considers pop star Britney Spears's difficult current family law situation. Grossman summarizes the facts of Spears's past and current family law woes, and explains the legal rules that have recently led Spears to completely lose the right to visit her two sons. She also considers Spears's prospects of re-establishing visitation in the near future.
Tuesday, Jan. 08, 2008

The Rhode Island Supreme Court Denies a Divorce to a Same-Sex Couple That Was Married in Massachusetts: Why This Case Was Wrongly Decided
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent decision from the Rhode Island Supreme Court denying two Rhode Island residents' request to end their Massaschusetts same-sex marriage in divorce. Grossman places the decision in the broader context of laws relating to same-sex marriage, civil unions, and divorce, and takes issue with the Rhode Island Supreme Court's decision to focus on definitions from dictionaries from 1961, the year jurisdiction was vested in the state's family court, rather than taking subsequent developments into account.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007

Why the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Rejected a Man's Claim for Relief from Involuntary Fatherhood
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent federal appellate decision rejecting a man's claim that he was denied Equal Protection when state law imposed parental responsibilities on him for his unplanned biological child. The man claims his ex-girlfriend, the child's mother, falsely told him that she was infertile and, in any case, using birth control when the child was conceived, and that he had made very clear beforehand that he did not want to be a father. Grossman explains why the man's case, trumpeted as the "Roe v. Wade for men," did not convince the appeals court.
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007

The House Passes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007: A Limited Symbolic Victory for Gay and Lesbian Employees, and One that Will Likely Result in a Presidential Veto
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the passage by the House of Representatives of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (ENDA), which would provide anti-discrimination protections for gay and lesbian employees, but which President Bush has promised to veto. Grossman notes the very limited and indirect protection that current federal law provides for gay, lesbian, and transgender employees who experience discrimination. She also explains why ENDA has faced criticism from both the right and the left: The right contends that ENDA's religious exemption is not large enough, while the left contends that ENDA should also have covered transgendered individuals.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007

The Supreme Court Considers a Procedural Roadblock to Recovery Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an upcoming Supreme Court case that will determine what procedures a plaintiff must follow in order to successfully invoke his or her rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Grossman explains why the issue has divided federal judges, and notes that -- unlike in another recent Supreme Court case involving discrimination -- this time the Solicitor General has sided with the plaintiffs. She contends that the Court, too, should side with the plaintiffs.
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007

Maryland's Highest Court Rules Against A Claim to a Right to Same-Sex Marriage: Why, In This Area, Litigation Still Matters
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a new Maryland decision that rejected a claim to a right to same-sex marriage and, more generally, discusses the current state of same-sex marriage law and litigation nationwide. Grossman explains, for example, the difference between the legal situation in states that have passed anti-same-sex marriage constitutional amendments, and those that have passed statutes to the same effect.
Tuesday, Oct. 02, 2007

Last Words from the "Queen of Mean": Leona Helmsley's Will, The Challenges That Are Likely to Be Posed to It, and the Likely Fate of the World's Second Richest Dog
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman applies her expertise in wills, trusts, and estates to the unusual will of former hotel magnate and "Queen of Mean" Leona Helmsley. Grossman considers whether the will is likely to stand up in court despite Helmsley's decision to disinherit two of her grandchildren, yet bequeath millions in trust for the care and feeding of her beloved dog, Trouble.
Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2007

An Overlooked Problem with Title VII's Protections Against Discrimination: Procedural Obstacles to Invoking the Law
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and University of Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake explain a number of doctrines the Supreme Court and/or lower courts have embraced that make it very difficult for genuine victims of employment discrimination to win their cases in court. They point out, as well, that some of these doctrines actually allow victims to suffer retaliation, without any remedy, when they attempt to stand up for their rights. Grossman and Brake contend that the doctrines are unfair, and often unrealistic in light of studies of how discrimination victims are likely to behave and proceed.
Tuesday, Sep. 04, 2007

Celebrity Justice: What We (and Our Students) Learn from Hollywood Stars' Run-ins with the Law
FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist Alafair Burke, both Hofstra law professors, discuss the consequences of a new generation's getting schooled in the law by celebrity lawsuits -- the documents and details of which now appear almost instantly online. Grossman and Burke argue that there's a serious generation gap here, especially for lawyers: While those who graduated from law school in the early 90s got a cursory introduction to law via The Paper Chase and "L.A. Law," today's attorneys have grown up with easy Internet access to the real-life legal documents in celebrity cases. Grossman and Burke use specific cases -- such as those of Anna Nicole Smith's will and Lindsay Lohan's DUI -- to illustrate the gap.
Monday, Aug. 20, 2007

An Ohio Supreme Court Case Interprets the State's Anti-Same-Sex-Marriage Amendment: How the Court Protected Unmarried, Cohabiting Couples from Domestic Violence Despite the Amendment
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an Ohio Supreme Court case in which a criminal defendant tried to use the Ohio Constitution's anti-same-sex-marriage amendment to defeat the domestic violence charges against him. The defendant argued that, by treating cohabiting couples like married couples, the domestic violence statute violated the amendment's prohibition on conferring a marriage-like "legal status" on non-marriage relationships. Grossman discusses the advent of Ohio's and similar amendments, and explains why they are likely to have unintended consequences, as Ohio's did in this case.
Tuesday, Aug. 07, 2007

Reviving Title VII's Protection Against Pay Discrimination In the Wake of the Supreme Court's Harsh Decision: A Call for Congressional Action
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and University of Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake, together argue that Congress should pass a statute effectively reversing the recent, 5-4 Supreme Court Ledbetter decision regarding employment discrimination. Grossman and Brake explain why they believe the decision -- which opted for the harshest of three possible rules as to when a pay discrimination claim is timely -- will put an end to many legitimate and serious claims, unless Congress intervenes. In their analysis, Grossman and Brake draw upon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent in Ledbetter, which, they note, is especially relevant in light of the Justice's noted prior career of litigating sex discrimination issues.
Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2007

The Fortieth Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia: The Legal Legacy of the Case that Ended Legal Prohibitions on Interracial Marriage
In the second of a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the legal legacy of Loving v. Virginia. Forty years ago, in Loving, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from passing laws banning interracial marriage. However, as Grossman explains, the precedent set by Loving has since then had ramifications regarding the battle over same-sex marriage, and the proposition that though the subject of domestic relations has traditionally belonged to the states, state regulation in this area is still controlled by the U.S. Constitution.
Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2007

The Supreme Court Slams the Door on Pay Discrimination Claims: The Ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist and University of Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake argue that a recent, 5-4 Supreme Court decision will be nothing less than a disaster for victims of employment discrimination, unless superseded by Congress. In the decision, as Grossman and Brake explain, the Court chose between three possible rules for when a plaintiff must file her claim with the EEOC -- and selected the harshest of the three. As a result, Grossman and Brake argue, plaintiffs are put in a Catch-22 by courts -- potentially subject to legal retaliation, as the result of other precedents, if they complain too soon, yet also subject to losing their discrimination claims if they file too late.
Monday, June 4, 2007

The Fortieth Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia: The Personal and Cultural Legacy of the Case that Ended Legal Prohibitions on Interracial Marriage Part One in a Two-Part Series
In the first of a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the cultural consequences of Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that held, forty years ago, that the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from passing laws banning interracial marriage. In particular, Grossman assesses how much the decision did, and did not, change society's views toward such marriages. She also covers the consequences for the Lovings themselves -- the couple who were the petitioners in the case, and who gained the right to marry in Virginia. In her next column in the series, Grossman will discuss the decision's legal legacy.
Wednesday, May. 30, 2007

Gonzales v. Carhart: How the Supreme Court's Validation of the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act Affects Women's Constitutional Liberty and Equality:
Part Two in a Two-Part Series

FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist Linda McClain, both Hofstra law professors, analyze the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart, in which the Court upheld the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act (PBABA). Grossman and McClain explain the evolution of abortion law on the Court, up to and through this recent and important decision. In addition, they explain why -- due to the replacement of Justice O'Connor with Justice Alito -- the Court reached a result, in this case, directly opposite to the result it reached in 2000 when considering Nebraska's ban on "partial birth abortion."
Monday, May 7, 2007

New Justices, New Rules: The Supreme Court Upholds the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003:
Part One in a Two-Part Series

FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist Linda McClain, both Hofstra law professors, analyze the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart, in which the Court upheld the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act (PBABA). Grossman and McClain explain the evolution of abortion law on the Court, up to and through this recent and important decision. In addition, they explain why -- due to the replacement of Justice O'Connor with Justice Alito -- the Court reached a result, in this case, directly opposite to the result it reached in 2000 when considering Nebraska's ban on "partial birth abortion."
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Must Employers Who Cover Prescription Drugs Cover Contraception? The EEOC's Position, the Courts' Recent Rulings, States' Limited Coverage, and the Need for a New Federal Statute
A number of courts -- including, recently, a federal appeals court -- have held that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) does not require employers to cover prescription contraception when they cover other prescription drugs. In light of these holdings, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman argues that a new federal statute is needed. Grossman explains why the EEOC takes the position that denial of contraception coverage, when other prescription drugs are covered, is pregnancy discrimination, and why some courts have disagreed. She also contends that, in light of the limited remedies state law offers, a federal statute requiring employers that cover prescription drugs to also cover prescription contraception should soon be enacted into law.
Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2007

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Undercuts Sexual Harassment Victims' Rights: How the Decision Underlines Problems with the Supreme Court's Approach To Hostile Environment Harassment
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent "hostile environment" sexual harassment decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Grossman argues that the decision is itself deeply flawed -- and also reveals flaws in the approach the Supreme Court has taken to "hostile environment" harassment claims. She discusses, in particular, the two-pronged showing that allows employers to escape liability if they set up internal procedures to address harassment complaints, and the employee fails to timely avail herself of those procedures.
Tuesday, Apr. 03, 2007

Recent Firings Serve as a Reminder of the Employment Struggles Unjustly and Sometimes Illegally Faced by Transsexuals
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the very limited legal protections available for employees who are fired simply because they are transsexuals -- focusing on two recent cases. As Grossman explains, would-be plaintiffs within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and those within certain cities, may be able to sue successfully, but those living elsewhere probably will not. Grossman explains the key Supreme Court precedent that could pave the way for more suits based on discrimination against transsexuals: an opinion that made clear it is illegal sex discrimination to fire a person merely because he or she fails to conform to gender steretypes of "femininity" or "masculinity." Though this precedent is not new, Grossman argued that it is underutilized in court.
Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2007

The Continuing Legal Battle Over What the Late Anna Nicole Smith Left Behind: Her Body, Her Will, and Her Daughter
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman follows up on her recent column on the legal disputes surrounding Anna Nicole Smith's death, updating readers on what has occurred over the last three weeks. In particular, Grossman covers the emotionally-delivered ruling that decided the custody of Anna Nicole's remains; the legal effect of the will identified as Anna Nicole's; and the ongoing battle regarding the identity of the father of Anna Nicole's infant daughter, Dannielynn. Grossman also answers what may be a multimillion dollar question: With Anna Nicole's will naming only her son Daniel, who is deceased, as heir, and containing a clause expressly excluding other children, does Dannielynn still have a claim to her mother's estate?
Monday, Feb. 26, 2007

The Litigation-Filled Life of Anna Nicole Smith, and the Legal Aftermath of Her Demise
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the litigation, potential litigation, and estate issues that are pending in the wake of the recent death of Anna Nicole Smith. Grossman addresses questions such as: Will Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, ultimately share in Smith's late husband J. Howard Marshall's estate, amounting to nearly a billion dollars? What if Smith's will (if one exists) still included her late son, Daniel? How will the paternity battle -- in which four men are claimed by various sources to be potential fathers of Danielynn -- affect the fight over Anna Nicole's estate? If attorney Howard K. Stern was indeed married to Anna Nicole before she died, what role will he play in all this? Grossman also lists the three key factors upon which the question of who will inherit from Anna Nicole's estate will turn.
Monday, Feb. 12, 2007

New Department of Education Regulations Pave the Way for Public Single-Sex Schools and Classes, Part Two: Will These Programs Be Constitutional and/or Good for Gender Equality?
In Part Two of a two-part series of columns on new Department of Education regulations allowing public secondary schools to maintain same-sex schools and classes, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the constitutional issue that is raised by the regulations. Grossman explains the two key Supreme Court precedents relating to same-sex public or publicly-funded schools -- one regarding an all-female nursing school, the other regarding the renowned all-male military college VMI. She contends that the regulations are not tailored to address the tests and concerns the Court raised in these two cases.
Wednesday, Feb. 07, 2007

New Department of Education Regulations Pave the Way for Public Single-Sex Schools and Classes:
Part One In a Two-Part Series

In the first of a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses new Department of Education regulations that seek to allow public school systems to create single-sex schools, and to allow individual public schools to create single-sex classes for subjects other than gym and sex ed (which have long been taught in single-sex groups). Grossman explains in detail the advent of the regulations, and how they change prior law, and notes the recent resurgence of interest in same-sex education.
Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007

All But the Name of Marriage: New Jersey Adopts "Civil Unions" for Same-Sex Couples
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professors Joanna Grossman discusses the recent decision by the New Jersey legislature to make civil unions available to same-sex couples. As she explains, the new law follows upon the heels of a New Jersey Supreme Court decision holding that the state's constitution requires that same-sex couples be granted the benefits of marriage, but not necessarily the name "marriage" itself. Grossman tracks the history of same-sex marriage in New Jersey, and notes divisions in public opinion on the issue among citizens of the state.
Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2006

Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins, and Vermont versus Virginia:
How One Contested Custody Case Illustrates the Perils of Non-Uniform State Marriage and Parentage Laws

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a child custody/visitation battle between same-sex partners that occurred after one partner renounced the "homosexual lifestyle" and successfully moved to dissolve their Vermont civil union. The couple had resided at different times in Vermont and Virginia; Grossman explains why, due to the intersection of federal and state law, both states' courts ultimately agreed Vermont law should apply.
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006

Ledbetter v. Goodyear: The Supreme Court Considers Procedural Technicalities That Perpetuate the Gender Wage Gap: Part Two of a Two-Part Series
In the second column in their two-part series, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake, discuss workplace realities when it comes to gender-based pay discrimination. These realities, they argue, suggest that the Supreme Court should rule in favor of the plaintiff in a case that raises the issue of when a claim for discrimination should be brought -- for forcing plaintiffs to sue too early is unfair in light, for example, of the fact that employees often have scant knowledge of others' pay.
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2006

The Supreme Court Considers Procedural Technicalities That Perpetuate the Gender Wage Gap: Part One in A Series on Ledbetter v. Goodyear
In Part One of a two-part series of columns, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and U. Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake, comment on an important case soon to be argued before the Supreme Court which will interpret Title VII, the main federal law covering claims of sex discrimination. In the case before the court, a jury awarded a large amount to the plaintiff for many years of what it found to be sex discrimination in the setting of her wages -- but the appeals court accepted the employer's argument that much of the plaintiffs' wage claim was brought too late. Now, as Grossman and Brake note, the U.S. Solicitor General is arguing that the Supreme Court should adopt an even more pro-employer view.
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006

The New Jersey Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision: Couples Get the Benefits of Marriage, but Will They Also Get the Name?
FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist Linda McClain, both Hofstra law professors, discuss the New Jersey Supreme Court's recent decision regarding same-sex couples' unions and the equal protection of the law. Grossman and McClain explain why the Supreme Court was unanimous in finding that it violated equal protection for the state to deny same-sex domestic partners the benefits of marriage. They also explain why the Supreme Court split, 4-3, when it came to the separate question of whether same-sex couples have an equal protection right to gain not only the benefits of marriage itself, but the benefit of being able to use the label "marriage" for their unions. Ultimately, the legislature will decide if same-sex unions in New Jersey will be deemed "marriages"; Grossman and McClain urge that it should give same-sex couples' unions not only the benefits of marriage, but also its name.
Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006

The Relationship of Biology to Legal Fatherhood:
Two New Cases Show Courts Struggling to Find a Coherent Approach, As Non-Biological Fathers Fight for Their Rights to Children

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses two recent family law decisions, in Tennessee and Kentucky, that reached different conclusions as to whether a man without a biological connection to a child, could still qualify as that child's legal father. In both cases, the man was married to the child's biological mother at the time of birth, but DNA tests showed the child had been fathered by another man One non-biological father was deemed the "legal" father and granted primary physical custody; the other was left out in the cold.
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2006

Rhode Island Same-Sex Couples Now Can Marry In Massachusetts -- But Will Rhode Island Recognize Their Unions?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an interesting recent development in the legal battle over same-sex marriage: A Massachusetts decision holding that Rhode Island residents may enter into Massachusetts same-sex marriages. As Grossman explains, the decision required the court to interpret Massachusetts' archaic "marriage evasion" law, which aims to ensure that out-of-staters don't enter into a kind of marriage, in Massachusetts, that their home state prohibits. Because Rhode Island law is silent on same-sex marriage, the evasion law was not triggered -- but, Grossman asks, what will happen if Rhode Island courts are asked to recognize Rhode Islanders' same-sex Massachusetts marriages?
Tuesday, Oct. 03, 2006

Two More State Supreme Courts Uphold Grandparent Visitation Laws - Despite the Supreme Court's Holding that They Can Be Unconstitutional
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the spate of state supreme court decisions that have interpreted the Supreme Court's important family law holding in Troxel v. Granville. Grossman explains why, despite some observers' predictions, Troxel didn't lead to the demise of visitation statutes. She contrasts the more carefully limited statutes upheld in recent Pennsylvania and Utah decisions, with the State of Washington statute struck down in Troxel itself, which Justice O'Connor, writing on behalf of a Court plurality deemed "breathtakingly broad."
Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2006

The Financial Penalty for Spousal Abuse: A New York Judge Ups the Ante, By Awarding All Marital Property to the Abuse Victim
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent, significant ruling in a New York divorce case in which a husband was alleged to have abused his spouse, and was therefore ordered to take on almost all of the couple's debt, and give up all of their marital assets. Grossman explains how New York's law is unusual among the states' -- not just regarding division of marital property, but also regarding divorce itself -- and explains the basis for the judge's decision, and an earlier, similar decision by the same judge, which was upheld on appeal.
Tuesday, Sep. 05, 2006

Can a Teenage Employee Consent to Sex With Her Supervisor? The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Says No
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an opinion by Judge Richard Posner that concerns an interesting intersection of federal and state law. The question the opinion raises is: Can a sexual harassment claim be brought by an employee who has consensual sex with her supervisor, when she is below her state's age of consent, and thus, her consent is invalid? Posner's opinion says that such a claim is valid, but that the underage girl's consent may diminish her damages. Grossman agrees that the claim is valid, but disagrees with the idea that legally invalid consent can affect a damages determination.
Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006

The State of the Nation on Same-Sex Marriage: Key Court Losses Mean It May Be Restricted to Massachusetts For Now
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses key developments in courts in New York, Washington State, Georgia, and Nebraska in the area of same-sex marriage. With all these recent decisions cutting against plaintiffs seeking to legalize same-sex marriage, Grossman concludes that Massachusetts may be, for quite some time, the only state allowing such marriage -- and that same-sex marriage proponents may need to take their strategy out of court, and into the legislatures.
Tuesday, Aug. 08, 2006

The Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Broader Protection for Employees Who Suffer Retaliation When They Complain About Discrimination: Part Two
In Part Two of a two-part series, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake, together comment on the Supreme Court's important end-of-Term decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Company. In this column, Grossman and Brake assess the Court's test for when retaliation for a complaint of discrimination is serious enough to trigger a valid legal claim -- noting that studies indicate that even relatively minor retaliation can silence employees. They also evaluate Justice Alito's dissent -- in which he argued for a different, stricter standard -- and contend that it does not bode well for his support of Title VII rights.
Tuesday, Jul. 11, 2006

The Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Broader Protection for Employees Who Suffer Retaliation When They Complain About Discrimination: Part One
In Part One of a two-part series, FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake, together comment on the Supreme Court's important end-of-Term antidiscrimination decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Company. As Grossman and Brake explain, the key questions the Court confronted in that case were: Must an act retaliating for an employee's complaint of discrimination be work-related in order to violate Title VII, the federal antidiscrimination statute at issue? And, when is retaliation serious enough to be the basis of a Title VII lawsuit? (For instance, can social ostracism and "snubbing" at work count?)
Friday, Jul. 07, 2006

A Big Win for Pregnant Police Officers: A Jury Finds A New York County's Police Department Liable for Failing to Accommodate Pregnancy-Related Disability
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explains why a jury recently found in favor of female New York police officers who alleged that, while pregnant, they had faced illegal discrimination. The officers won on both their disparate impact and disparate treatment claims; Grossman explains how the two types of claims differ, and why the plaintiffs prevailed on each. She also explains limits on current pregnancy discrimination laws -- and argues for better protection for women who want to become mothers, and still remain workers, too.
Tuesday, Jun. 27, 2006

Must Employers Assign Pregnant Truckers to "Light Duty" Posts? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Says No
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explains the history and current status of pregnancy discrimination law -- focusing on a recent case involving a pregnant trucker. In that case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld an employer's policy of allowing "light duty" assignments only for those employees who incurred on-the-job injuries, and not for others, including pregnant women. Grossman explains why the plaintiff's litigation strategy resulted in a win for the employer -- and notes that with another strategy, the trucker might have prevailed.
Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2006

Anna Nicole Smith Wins at the Supreme Court: She's Closer to Collecting From Her Late Husband's Estate, But Many Hurdles Still Remain
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of former Playboy model and Trimspa spokesperson Anna Nicole Smith. Grossman explains the complex history of the battle between Smith and the son of her late billionaire husband, over the husband's estate. The son, Pierce Marshall, says his father intended to freeze out Anna Nicole; Anna Nicole, however, says that her husband would have left her a large share of his estate -- had not Pierce intervened by allegedly using illegal tactics. As Grossman explains, the Supreme Court didn't say who is right, but it did let the case go forward -- with $88 million still at stake.
Tuesday, May. 16, 2006

The California Supreme Court Lets TV Comedy Writers Off the Hook for Sexual Harassment This Time, but Their Protection is Not Absolute
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent California Supreme Court decision in a controversial case -- the "Friends" sexual harassment lawsuit, in which a writer's assistant argued that she suffered sexual harassment based on comments made about women generally in the writers' room. Grossman explains why the Supreme Court affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants -- but also notes why, in future writers' room cases with different facts, California courts might rule in plaintiffs' favor.
Tuesday, May. 02, 2006

Will the State of Massachusetts Ever Permit Same-Sex Out-of-Staters to Marry?
A New Decision From the State's Highest Court Leaves Open The Possibility

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent decision by Massachusetts' highest court regarding whether same-sex out-of-staters can marry in Massachusetts, in light of the state's "marriage evasion" law -- which is being aggressively enforced under the direction of the Governor. As Grossman explains, the answer is complex -- and may depend on the status of the law in the state in which the out-of-stater who wishes to marry resides.
Monday, Apr. 10, 2006

"Desperate Feminist Wives":
Does the Quest for Marital Equality Doom Marital Happiness?

FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman and FindLaw guest columnist Linda McClain, both Hofstra law professors, discuss the contention, based on a recent study, that wives who assert themselves as feminists are happier in their marriages than wives who play a more traditional role. Grossman and McClain assess the study's conclusions, provide a historical perspective on women's legal and societal status and on gender roles, and provide some reasons to believe that the study may not really support the contentions about marital happiness for which it is cited.
Tuesday, Apr. 04, 2006

"Roe v. Wade for Men"? A Men's Rights Group Makes A Farfetched Claim for Avoidance of Child Support
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a Michigan man's claim that a judge's ordering him to pay child support is unconstitutional, because men are treated differently from women under the law. Grossman explains the "similarly situated" required of equal protection law, and explains at what junctures men and women would, and would not, be considered "similarly situated" by a court.
Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2006

Title VII and Small Businesses: The Supreme Court Addresses the Employer-Size Requirement For Federal Employment Discrimination Claims
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an about-to-be-argued Supreme Court case concerning the interpretation of the main federal anti-discrimination law, Title VII. The case concerns Title VII's requirement that the defendant employer have at least fifteen employees -- a requirement intended to protect small Mom-and-Pop businesses from the statute's reach. It asks the Court to resolve whether this requirement is just another fact in the case, or a fact upon which the trial court's very jurisdiction depended.
Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2006

Paternity Misrepresentation: A Florida Court Rules That a Husband Waited Too Long to Disprove Fatherhood, and Reaffirms His Status as the Child's Father
Can a man be legally deemed -- against his will -- to be the father of a child to whom he is not biologically related, and whom he has never adopted? As FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explains, the answer is yes: This can happen when the child is born during the man's marriage to the child's biological mother, and delays too long in contesting the child's fatherhood. Grossman explains why this is the modern legal rule -- even though the result is that a cuckolded husband may pay support for the child resulting from his wife's adulterous affair.
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005

New Developments in the Same-Sex Marriage Wars:
The Fight Over the Issue in New York, and the Growing International Acceptance and American Rejection of "Genderless" Marriage

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses -- and analyzes the arguments in -- the continuing legal battle over same-sex marriage. As Grossman explains, a recent New York intermediate appellate decision held the New York Constitution does not require equal marriage rights for same-sex couples -- but the State's high court has yet to weigh in. Meanwhile, international acceptance of same-sex marriage seems to be growing at a faster pace than in the U.S.
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005

A Victory for Grandparents: The Ohio Supreme Court Upholds a Statute That Gives them Visitation Rights With Grandchildren
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the way state supreme courts -- including, recently, the Ohio Supreme Court -- have interpreted the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Troxel v. Granville. That ruling said that a state statute regarding who -- other than parents -- can be granted visitation with children, must give deference to parents' wishes. But how much deference, and how? Grossman explains the factors states have found important in figuring out if their own statutes comply with Troxel.
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005

The Kansas Supreme Court Rights a Wrong, Ruling that the State Cannot Penalize a Teenager for Being Gay
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court. As Grossman explains, the ruling involved a disparity in Kansas law that, the court held, violates the U.S. Constitution. The disparity is that Kansas's "Romeo and Juliet" law makes consensual sex with a minor a lesser offense when the partners are close in age. But it only does so when the partners are heterosexual; gay partners face far longer sentences, meaning "Romeo and Romeo" or "Juliet and Juliet" partners are out of luck.
Tuesday, Nov. 01, 2005

The Difference Between Recognizing a Same-Sex Marriage and Authorizing One: Why a New York Appellate Court Got it Wrong
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent decision by a New York intermediate appellate court that rejected a same-sex-Vermont-civil-union-partner's New York wrongful deaths suit to recover damages for his partner's allegedly tortious death. Grossman argues that the court wrongly conflated two questions: whether New York should recognize Vermont civil unions as, in effect, marriages for this particular purpose; and whether New York itself should authorize same-sex marriage or civil union status. The court, she argues, should have properly answered the first question, not the second, and therefore let the suit go forward.
Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005

Does Gender Matter? A Feminist Look at the Nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman draws on social science research and feminist legal theory to consider whether a Supreme Court nominee's gender ought to matter, separate from his or her substantive views on gender issues. In considering the question, Grossman focuses on the example of current nominee Harriet Miers, but also brings up longer-term issues such as whether legal workplaces -- and even the Supreme Court itself -- may be ill-suited for caregivers -- who still are disproportionately female -- and why despite the legal profession's progress when it comes to gender equality, women are still very much underrepresented in top leadership positions.
Monday, Oct. 10, 2005

When a Supervisor Bullies Only Women, Can the Conduct Count as Illegal Sex-Based Harassment?
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Says Yes

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explains why a recent federal court of appeals sexual harassment decision is a lot less surprising, to those who know the law, than the media has portrayed it to be. The decision held that when a boss, evidence indicated, verbally abused only his women subordinates, a sexual harassment claim could go forward. Grossman explains why this makes sense, drawing on the federal anti-discrimination statute Title VII, and on Supreme Court interpretations of the statute, which stress sex equality, not sexuality, when sex harassment claims are at issue.
Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2005

The California Supreme Court Considers Three Broken-Up Lesbian Partnerships, And Finds, In Each, That A Child Can Have Two Mothers
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a striking trio of recent California Supreme Court decisions -- each of which involves a lesbian partnership that broke up, resulting in issues concerning parentage of children born within the partnership. In each case, a partner who did not give birth to the child at issue was nevertheless deemed to be one of the child's two mothers.
Tuesday, Sep. 06, 2005

Is a "Domestic Partnership" the Same as a "Marriage"?
No, but the California Supreme Court Says A "Domestic Partner" is the Same as a "Spouse"

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the state of domestic partnership law in California -- any issue that may be significant for the many other states that recognize, or may in the future recognize, domestic partnerships, but won't use the term "marriage" to describe them. Grossman focuses on a recent California Supreme Court case in which a golf club denied a lesbian club member's state-registered domestic partner the right to enjoy the same privileges as spouses of members.
Tuesday, Aug. 09, 2005

When Can Consensual Sex Create a Hostile Workplace Environment?
The California Supreme Court Weighs In on the Claim of Sexual Favoritism

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent California Supreme Court decision that addresses when the consequences of a workplace relationship that leads to sexual favoritism, can constitute sex discrimination. While noting that workplace relationships can be a good thing, Grossman asks questions about when they may lead to discrimination. For instance: If a supervisor promotes his less-qualified girlfriend because of their relationship, is it discrimination against the more-qualified men in the office? Is it discrimination against the more-qualified women? She explains how such questions are analyzed under both federal and California law.
Thursday, Jul. 28, 2005

What Might Two Supreme Court Vacancies Mean for Reproductive Rights?
While the Federal "Partial Birth" Abortion Ban Has Been Held Invalid, The Composition of the Court is About to Change

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses how Justice O'Connor's -- and, potentially, Chief Justice Rehquist's -- retirement may affect the way the Supreme Court rules in abortion cases. Grossman predicts that Roe v. Wade itself is not in danger -- but explain a number of ways in which the Court might nevertheless diminish the scope of the right to terminate a pregnancy. Grossman focuses on an Eighth Circuit ruling on the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act," and two abortion cases that the Court has already agreed to review next Term. She notes, in particular, how both the federal law, and parental notification requirements, if upheld by the Court as constitutional, may put women's health in serious jeopardy, simply as a consequence of exercising their right to terminate their pregnancy.
Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2005

A Loss, in New Jersey, for Proponents of Same-Sex Marriage:
A Window into New Claims by Opponents about the Government's Interest In Marriage

It's easy to see what the government's interest is when it comes to laws against murder, but what about laws providing for the state to license marriage? FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw columnist Linda McClain -- both Hofstra law professors -- take on this question as they analyze a recent New Jersey decision. The decision rejected a bid to compel the state to license same-sex marriages -- and the opinions made some controversial claims about why the government has an interest in licensing marriage in the first place.
Tuesday, Jun. 28, 2005

Is Staying Home with Children "Shirking Work" For Child Support Purposes?
The Wisconsin Supreme Court Says No

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an interesting and significant recent Wisconsin family law ruling -- one that, in effect, allowed a divorced doctor to continue to be an at-home mom by increasing the child support her ex-spouse (also a doctor) had to pay. Grossman examines the basis for the decision, considers other states' approaches, and discusses the thorny questions that arise when a divorced parent decides to stay home with the kids, or to take a low-paying or part-time job in lieu of a lucrative full-time job.
Tuesday, Jun. 14, 2005

The One-Year Anniversary of Same-Sex Marriage in the United States:
Some Thoughts on Recent Developments, and on the Future

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman provides a retrospective on the anniversary of Massachusetts' decision to begin to grant same-sex-marriage licenses. Grossman surveys developments at both the federal and state levels, and notes the issues that still remain for the future. She also explains important decisions relating to the separate issues of whether a state will grant same-sex marriage licenses, and whether it will respect other states' same-sex marriages.
Tuesday, May. 17, 2005

Can An Adulterer Receive Alimony?
The New Jersey Supreme Court Says Yes, But Marital Misconduct Can Lower the Award In Egregious Circumstances

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding the grounds for granting -- and diminishing -- alimony in New Jersey. Grossman explains why the court reasoned that generally, considerations of fault should not play a role in an alimony award -- but also why it allowed fault to come into play in egregious cases.
Tuesday, May. 03, 2005

The Supreme Court's New Age Discrimination Ruling: Good News and Bad News for Both Employers and Older Workers
FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting University of North Carolina law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the Supreme Court's recent Smith v. Jackson ruling. The decision recognizes "disparate impact" age discrimination claims -- that is, claims that a particular policy or practice of an employer disproportionately affects older workers. But, as Grossman explains, it also makes such claims harder to bring. Grossman contends that the decision fits into a recent trend of Supreme Court employment discrimination cases in which the Court recognizes a right to sue on a particular legal theory, but makes suits under that theory difficult to bring.
Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2005

Discrimination and Retaliation: Why the Supreme Court Was Right To Accept the Claim of a Coach Fired for Pointing Out Sex Discrimination in High School Athletics
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and U. Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake, discuss an important Supreme Court decision interpreting Title IX, the federal statute that bars sex discrimination in federally-funded education programs, including athletics programs. The Court held that Title IX allows lawsuits not only for discrimination itself, but also for retaliation for complaints of discrimination. The Court also held that the person who suffers discrimination, need not be the plaintiff; thus, a coach who complains about discrimination against his female players, and is punished, is protected by the statute. Grossman and Brake comment on these holdings, as well as on a legal question the case raised that still remains open.
Tuesday, Apr. 05, 2005

When Parentage Turns on Anatomical Sex: An Illinois Court Denies a Female-to-Male Transsexual's Claim of Fatherhood
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an unusual Illinois case in which a court had to decide when, exactly, a biological female who has a series of sex change operations becomes legally male. The question mattered because it determined whether a female-female marriage -- illegal in Illinois -- became valid after one partner's sex change operations. And that -- in turn -- determined whether that partner had parental rights over the other partner's biological child.
Tuesday, Mar. 08, 2005

Will Non-Resident Same-Sex Couples Be Able to Marry in Massachusetts?
The State's Highest Court Considers the Marriage Evasion Law

FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting University of North Carolina law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the status of the continuing war over same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. With the state's government attempting to apply a 1943 "marriage evasion" law to stop out-of-state residents from entering into Massachusetts same-sex marriage, eight same-sex couples are, together, challenging the law on several grounds. Grossman assesses the couples' chances of success, and argues that there is no convincing federalism justification for enforcing the "marriage evasion" law, since whether it is enforced or not, it seems very likely that other states may legally refuse to recognize their own residents' Massachusetts same-sex marriages.
Tuesday, Mar. 01, 2005

A Manhattan Judge Validates Gay Marriage, Creating a Split Among New York Courts,
And Setting the Stage for a Court of Appeals Ruling

FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting University of North Carolina law professor Joanna Grossman analyzes a recent decision by a Manhattan court that the New York State constitution requires that same-sex couples be able to marry. Grossman notes that two other county courts reached the opposite conclusiona, and that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he will appeal.
Tuesday, Feb. 08, 2005

The Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down the State's Fornication Law,
Indicating that Other States' Antiquated Laws Will Fall if Challenged

FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor and visiting University of North Carolina law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent Virginia Supreme Court decision striking down the state's law criminalizing fornication -- defined as sexual intercourse by an unmarried person with any other person. Grossman explains why the Virginia court found that, under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas, fornication laws are unconsitutional. She also discusses the fate of other states' fornication laws, and other laws that might be thought to be vulnerable after Lawrence.
Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005

Why The U.S. Supreme Court Should Have Chosen to Review A Florida Gay Adoption Case:
The Law At Issue Was Invidious, and the Case Offered a Chance to Clarify a Key Precedent

FindLaw columnist, Hofstra law professor, and visiting University of North Carolina law professor Joanna Grosssman discusses a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to grant review in a case raising the issue of the constitutionality a Florida law, enacted due to anti-gay bias, that prevents gay persons from adopting children in Florida. Grossman contends that the case would have provided a good opportunity for the Court to clarify the scope of two recent precedents that are relevant to gay rights -- and whose meaning is hotly debated.
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005

A New York High Court Decision on Domestic Violence:
Can a Parent Be Guilty of Neglect Simply Because She Is Victimized in the Presence of Her Children?

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an important federal court constitutional class action that was recently settled. The class action challenged an alleged policy of New York City's Administration for Children's Service -- under which children could be removed from their mothers, if the mothers were victims of domestic violence that was witnessed by the children. Grossman explains how decisions in federal and state court intertwined to result in a settlement.
Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2004

The Canadian Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision:
An Interesting Contrast to the United States's Law

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman compares the recent, historic decision of the Canadian Supreme Court on same-sex marriage to recent legal same-sex marriage developments in the United States. Grossman explains the different legal backdrops in the U.S. and in Canada -- where Parliament, not the provinces, controls the substance of who can marry. She also compares the Canadian decision with the Massachusetts Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision -- showing that they are much less parallel than they might seem at first glance.
Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2004

Does Title IX Prohibit Retaliation Against Coaches Who Point Out Sex Discrimination?
The Supreme Court Hears Argument On This Issue Today

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a key sex discrimination case on which the Supreme Court is hearing argument today, November 30. The case involves the interpretation of Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination -- including sex discrimination in athletics -- by institutions that receive public funding. The plaintiff, a coach, sued for damages based on allegations that his high school girls' basketball team's resources were woefully inferior to those of the boys' team. He says that he was removed as coach when he complained about the sex discrimination. Can his suit continue? The Court will decide.
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004

Accidental Age Discrimination?:
The Supreme Court Considers the Viability of "Disparate Impact" Claims

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a key issue the Supreme Court will resolve this term: Does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibit "disparate impact" age discrimination -- which occurs when a policy unintentionally harms older workers? Grossman delves into the parallels and differences between the ADEA and the main federal antidiscrimination statute, Title VII -- which prohibits race and sex discrimination, including "disparate impact" discrimination.
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2004

Will New York Finally Adopt True No-Fault Divorce?
Recent Proposals to Amend the State's Archaic Divorce Law

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent proposal to change New York's law on divorce --- which, as she explains, is quite far out of step with the law in other states. Grossman compares and contrasts New York's difficult divorce rules with those applicable elsewhere; discusses empirical studies about the effect of contrasting rules; and contends that the only clear benefit of New York divorce law, in its current state, is to lawyers -- not spouses.
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2004

Is Britney Spears Legally Married? And If So, Is Her Prenup Enforceable?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the complicated legal situation that was created when Britney Spears and Kevin Federline said "I do" on September 18. Grossman addresses such questions as: Is their marriage valid? Is their prenuptial agreement valid? And what is the effect of their reported "faux marriage" agreement?
Monday, Sep. 27, 2004

California's Grandparent Visitation Statute:
Why the State's Supreme Court Upheld It

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent, important California Supreme Court decision on an unusual family law issue: Can a court constitutionally order that grandparents be able to visit their child, even over parents' objections? The U.S. Supreme Court said no -- under Washington State's statute -- but the California Supreme Court said yes -- under California's statute. Grossman explains why the results differed.
Friday, Sep. 03, 2004

When a Man Dies, Can Children Subsequently Conceived with His Sperm Collect Survivors' Benefits?
A Federal Appellate Court Says Yes

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an unusual Arizona case that tests how old family law concepts and statutes fit into a new era of rapidly developing medical technology. The case arose because a man who was dying of cancer decided, together with his wife, to deposit sperm for a future baby. She bore twins nineteenth months after his death -- leading the Social Security Commissioner to try to deny the children the benefits that children of a deceased person typically received. Grossman also discusses how different states would treat posthumously-conceived children such as these, and how the few courts to address similar issues have ruled.
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2004

The Proposed Marriage Protection Act:
Why It May Be Unconstitutional

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the proposed Marriage Protection Act -- which, if passed, would strip federal courts, including the Supreme Court, of jurisdiction to consider certain constitutional challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA -- a controversial statute -- attempts to prevent the states from being forced to recognized out-of-state same-sex marriages. Is the MPA unconstitutional as infringing on federal courts' powers -- or violating Equal Protection? Is DOMA unconstitutional as violating the Full Faith and Credit Clause -- or Equal Protection? Grossman discusses and assesses the various arguments.
Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2004

As the Federal Marriage Amendment Fails in the Senate, Recent and Older Examples in Legal History Provide Insight
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman offers a legal history perspective on the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), which just failed in the Senate. Grossman contrasts the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which continues to be federal law, with the FMA, now a failed amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She also goes much further back in American history to track another, parallel conflict -- the conflict among the states as to whether they had to recognize each other's divorces -- and a key U.S. Supreme Court cases that weighed in definitively on that conflict.
Thursday, Jul. 15, 2004

The Supreme Court's Ruling on Employer Liability For Sexual Harassment That Results in "Constructive Discharge":
Why It's a Disappointment

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a high-profile case on sexual harassment that the Supreme Court recently decided. The question raised was: Under what circumstances can an employer be held liable for sexual harassment by a supervisor that results in the employee's "constructive discharge"? ("Constructive discharge" describes a situation where the employee, though not officially fired, has no reasonable option but to leave.) Grossman argues that the Court's ruling is not a victory for plaintiffs, even though it does allow some liability for constructive discharge.
Tuesday, Jun. 22, 2004

The End of "Ladies' Night" in New Jersey:
A Controversial Ruling Deems the Practice Sex Discrimination Against Men

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an interesting recent ruling by New Jersey's Director of Civil Rights finding that a bar's "Ladies' Night" policy -- in which women were admitted free, and offered discounted drinks -- illegally discriminated against men. Grossman assesses the bar's defense -- that the policy was too trivial to come within the relevant discrimination law -- and finds it unpersuasive. She also considers comparatively "trivial" sex discrimination in dress codes, and finds that it may not be as trivial as it seems.
Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2004

Same-Sex Couples Prepare to Marry in Massachusetts,
But the Governor Invokes An Archaic Marriage Evasion Act To Stop Out-of-Staters From Taking Vows

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the latest news on gay marriage in Massachusetts. Grossman explains the legal wranglings that led to marriages being peformed this week -- and explains, as well, why Governor Mitt Romney has claimed that such marriages can be performed only when both members of the couple are Massachusetts residents.
Tuesday, May. 18, 2004

Are "Friends" Writers "Required" To Engage in Sexual Banter, Even If the Effect Is Harassing?
A Ruling in a California Court Allows the Argument to Be Made

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the recent news-making case in which a writers' assistant brought a sexual harassment suit based on crude sexual remarks by "Friends" writers. Defense attorneys have raised a "creative necessity" defense, arguing that writers need to have creative freedom including the freedom to make these remarks. But Grossman argues that the remarks alleged were hardly writing-related. She also comments on how this defense fits into sex harassment law.
Tuesday, May. 04, 2004

A New York Court Authorizes A Lesbian Couple's Joint Adoption of A Child:
Part of a Growing Same-Sex Adoption Trend

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman tracks the growing trend among states to allow same-sex couples to adopt children, while at the same time noting a few states whose laws have evolved to reject such adoptions. Grossman explains the interrelated issues involving unmarried heterosexual couples and same sex couples, and focuses on an important recent New York decision.
Monday, Apr. 19, 2004

U.S. News & World Report's 2005 Law School Rankings:
Why They May Not Be Trustworthy, and How the Alternative Ranking Systems Compare

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the history of law school ranking systems, the most influential current system -- the one used by U.S. News and World Report -- and the alternative ranking systems that have recently been innovated. Grossman explains why U.S. News's system has faced strong criticism for both creating perverse incentives for law schools, and failing to reflect law schools' true quality of faculty, and quality of education
Tuesday, Apr. 06, 2004

How Should Harassment Victims' Claims of "Constructive Discharge" Be Treated?
A Question the Supreme Court Soon Will Confront

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a sexual harassment issue upon which the Supreme Court will soon hear oral argument. It's undisputed that, for an employer to be automatically liable for a supervisor's harassment, the harassed employee must suffer a "tangible employment action." But does being forced to quit -- that is, suffering a "constructive discharge," in legal parlance -- count as a "tangible employment action"? Or must an employee be formally fired to get the benefit of automatic employer liability?
Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2004

The California Supreme Court's Recent Holding:
A "Presumed" Father Has Greater Rights Than a Biological One

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a significant recent California Supreme Court family law decision. In the decision, the Court upheld a preference for custody by a "presumed" father, married to a child's mother, over custody by the child's biological father. As Grossman notes, the case raises both statutory issues -- for the Court was called upon to interpret an outdated statute that pre-dated authoritative paternity testing -- and constitutional issues.
Tuesday, Mar. 09, 2004

San Francisco Takes Center Stage by Permitting Gay Couples to Marry:
The Legal Questions the City's Actions Raise

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explains the legal backdrop to San Francisco's mayor's decision to direct that marriage licenses be granted regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Grossman explains why Governor Schwarzenegger has asserted that such marriages are contrary to state law -- and why the mayor and others believe that law is contrary to the California Constitution. She also details the status of the three different suits that have been brought touching on this issue, and explains why the City is not making federal constitutional claims, only state ones. Finally, she discusses the status and significance of the same-sex marriages performed so far.
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004

How Same-Sex Marriage Became Legal in Massachusetts:
The State's Supreme Court Rebukes Its Legislature's Attempt to "Circumvent" the Court's Decision

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman takes a close look at the back-and-forth between the Massachusetts Supreme Court and the state's legislature -- the upshot of which is that gay marriage will be legal in Massachusetts. Grossman also answers a question that many may be wondering about: Why are civil unions adequate to satisfy the Vermont Constitution, but not the Constitution of Massachusetts?
Friday, Feb. 06, 2004

Is There a Constitutional Right To Promote the Use of Sex Toys?
A Texas Arrest Raises the Question

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent, important Texas case that may test the extent to which intimate, consensual acts in a private setting are constitutionally protected. Texas is prosecuting a woman for promoting the sex toys that she and her husband sell to their customers. As Grossman explains, the reasoning of the recent, landmark Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas -- striking down an anti-sodomy statute -- may cause the court to throw out the charges.
Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004

The New Jersey Domestic Partnership Law
Its Formal Recognition of Same-Sex Couples, and How It Differs From Other States' Approaches

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses New Jersey's decision to join the four other states that have, in various ways, recognized the legal status of same-sex couples. Grossman explains what New Jersey's new domestic partnership law does, and does not do, and places it in the middle of the spectrum of different approaches. She also notes striking aspects of the New Jersey law, the media coverage of it, and the process that gave rise to it.
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004

Punishing Adultery in Virginia
A Cheating Husband's Guilty Plea Is A Reminder Of the Continued Relevance of Adultery Statutes

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the continued relevance, in some states, of adultery statutes -- as illustrated by a Virginia man's recent guilty plea to adultery. Grossman explains how adultery has been addressed, over the course of American history, in three different areas of the legal system: tort law, marriage/divorce law, and criminal law.
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003

Sexual Harassment
The California Supreme Court Holds that Damages Cannot Include "Avoidable Consequences" of a Victim's Failure to Properly Complain

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an important recent California Supreme Court antidiscrimination decision that also sheds light, by contrast, on federal antidiscrimination decisions. The California decision interprets the state's Fair Employment and Housing Act; the federal decisions interpret Title VII, the main federal antidiscrimination statute. One of the main questions raised is what happens if a sexual harassment victim does not promptly complain to her employer, or does not complain at all.
Tuesday, Dec. 02, 2003

Are Bans on Same-Sex Marriage Constitutional?
New Jersey Says Yes, But Massachusetts, In a Landmark Decision, Says No

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman compares and contrasts two important recent decisions -- from New Jersey and Massachusetts -- concerning the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage. Grossman explains how two remarkably similar opinions managed to reach diametrically opposite results -- and explains the relevance of the Supreme Court's recent opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down an anti-same-sex-sodomy statute.
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003

Who Should Be Liable for Sudden, Severe Sexual Harassment?
The Important Question of Whether Employers Should Pay

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a type of harassment that has divided federal courts: harassment by a supervisor of a subordinate that is severe but because it is sudden, may be unpreventable by the employer. Grossman pursues two key questions: Can an employer be held liable for such harassment as long as the victim pursued reasonable avenues of complaint? Or is the employer off the hook for all the harassment if it took reasonable measures to prevent it from happening, and reasonable measures to correct it afterward?
Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003

Can a School Retaliate Against a Coach Who Complains
About Its Unfair Treatment of Female Athletes? The Supreme Court May Well Decide

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a discrimination case in which the Supreme Court has recently taken an interest. The case involves Title IX, a broad-ranging federal statute that bans sex discrimination by educational institutions receiving federal funding. The plaintiff in the case says he was sidelined from coaching as retaliation for his complaint that his girls' high school basketball team was facing sex discrimination. The issue is whether a coach can sue under Title IX for this kind of retaliation.
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2003

Why the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 Should Be Amended:
The Act's Tenth Anniversary Should Prompt a Rethinking

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman reflects on the tenth anniverary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). (The FMLA, as she explains, is a federal statute that guarantees certain employees twelve weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, to care for an ill family member, or because of the employee's own serious illness.) Grossman argues that the FMLA should be amended because data indicates that it has not made much progress in promoting gender equality in leavetaking -- which, according to the Supreme Court, is one of the statute's goals.
Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003

Do Italian-Americans Jurors Have a Right Not to Be Excluded Based on Their Ethnicity?
A Recent Appellate Case Says The Answer Is Maybe

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses an intriguing question raised by a recent Pennsylvania criminal case. There, the defendant argues that his conviction should be invalidated because prospective jurors with Italian-American surnames were discriminatorily excluded from his jury. As Grossman explains, if the issue were juror exclusion due to race or sex, it would be clear cut, but that is not the case with ethnicity.
Tuesday, Sep. 09, 2003

Teaching the Rich to Stay Rich:
A Review of Roy Williams and Vic Preisser's Preparing Heirs

FindLaw book reviewer and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent book on a problem many of us may wish we had: how to successfully transfer huge sums of wealth within a family, through wills and otherwise. The book, Preparing Heirs, reveals that over 70% of such transfers fail, in that beneficiaries lose control of the transferred money, and suggests how families can make such transfers more successful, more often.
Friday, Sep. 05, 2003

Whose Surname Should a Child Have?
A New York Court's Ruling Reinforces Sexist Traditions

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent New York ruling denying a single mother the right to change her daughter's surname to match her own.  Grossman surveys the law relating to both initial parental choice of a child's name (on the birth certificate), and subsequent parental name change for a child.  She finds that this law unjustly supports the sexist tradition of patronymy, by which fathers, but not mothers, have the right to pass on their surnames.
Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003

Saving Title IX:
Recent Developments Spell Good News For The Federal Statute Prohibiting Sex Discrimination in High School and College Athletics

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses recent developments, both in court and in the Executive Branch, with respect to Title IX, the federal anti-sex-discrimination statute that protects high school and college athletes. Grossman explains why a suit claiming that Title IX's implementation illegally discriminates against male athletes was dismissed.  She also analyzes a recent Department of Education Office of Civil Rights guidance letter that surprisingly left existing Title IX regulations largely intact. 
Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2003

The Consequences of Lawrence v. Texas:
Justice Scalia Is Right that Same Sex Marriage Bans Are At Risk, But Wrong That A Host of Other Laws Are Vulnerable

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman considers the potential implications of the recent, end-of-Term Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law criminalizing same-sex sodomy.  In his dissent, Justice Scalia claimed a broad range of "morals" laws are in jeopardy after Lawrence.   Grossman contends that Scalia may be right about bans on same-sex marriage, but not necessarily about many of the laws he listed.
Tuesday, Jul. 08, 2003

A Recent Supreme Court Decision Makes it Easier for Plaintiffs to Proceed When Discrimination Is One Motive, But Not the Only One
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses last week's Supreme Court decision in Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa.  There, the Court held that in a mixed-motive discrimination case -- in which an employment decision was allegedly made for both legitimate and illegitimate motives -- the plaintiff's evidence of the illegitimate motive need not be direct.  Grossman explains the complex history of precedent and legislation that raised the issue the Court resolved.
Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003

A Victory for Families, But Hardly a Panacea:
The Supreme Court Holds That the Family and Medical Leave Act Applies to States

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explains the issues and wider significance of the recent Supreme Court decision in Hibbs.  There, the Court held that Congress both had the power to, and unmistakably did, authorize suits against state employers when it passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Among other things, the FMLA guarantees twelve weeks of unpaid maternity and paternity leave for some employees of sufficiently large companies.
Tuesday, Jun. 03, 2003

Vermont Civil Unions:
Will Sister States Recognize Them? An Early Status Report

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the efforts of out-of-staters who have entered into Vermont civil unions to get the civil unions recognized, for myriad purposes, in their home states.  As Grossman discusses, in areas from wrongful death to divorce to visitation agreements, getting a Vermonth civil union partner recognized as a "spouse" has not been easy.
Tuesday, May. 20, 2003

A New Lawsuit by a Female Athlete Tests Title IX's Protection Against Pregnancy Discrimination
What are the rights of pregnant students under federal law and regulations?  FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses this question in the context of a recent lawsuit by an outstanding college basketball player who alleges that she faced pregnancy discrimination from her university and coach.
Tuesday, May. 06, 2003

When an Employee is Not Formally Fired, But Effectively Forced to Leave, Is Her Employer Automatically Liable for Sexual Harassment?
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explores a split among various federal appellate courts over an important issue in the law of sexual harassment.  The issue is whether an employee who is "constructively discharged" -- that is, forced by harassment to leave her workplace -- should be treated the same as one who is formally fired. 
Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2003

What Should Happen When Sexual Harassment Victims Don't File Prompt Complaints?
A Court Weighs In

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman considers a recent ruling on this question: If a sexual harassment plaintiff fails to file a complaint under the company's internal grievance procedure, or delays in filing such a complaint, should she still be able to sue the company? Grossman notes, among other points, that many victims fear losing their jobs if they complain internally.
Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2003

The Women of Harvard Law's Class of '64:
A Review of Judith Richards Hope's Pinstripes and Pearls

FindLaw columnist and book reviewer, and Hofstra law professor, Joanna Grossman reviews attorney Judith Richards Hope's book on the lives of the fifteen women in Harvard Law School's class of 1964. Grossman applauds the book as a historical account, but finds it falls short as an interesting narrative, for several reasons.
Friday, Mar. 28, 2003

Does Discrimination Against Gay Men and Lesbians Count As Sex Discrimination?
The Supreme Court May Soon Give An Answer

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman, and FindLaw guest columnist and attorney Brian Lehman, discuss the equal protection aspect of a Supreme Court case to be argued tomorrow, March 26. The case raises several constitutional challenges to Texas's anti-homosexual-sodomy statute. Grossman and Lehman discusses why the resolution of the equal protection issue may be momentous.
Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2003

The Future of Title IX, The Federal Statute Concerning Gender Equality In Athletics:
Can It Survive the Secretary of Education's Planned Revisions?

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman delves into the ongoing controversy over Title IX, women's athletics, and cuts in men's "minor" sports teams. In particular, Grossman summarizes and critiques the recommendations made in a report on the subject that was recently delivered by a 15-member Commission to Secretary of Education Rod Paige.
Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2003

Should a Surviving "Spouse" in a Same-Sex Couple Be Permitted to Sue for Wrongful Death?
A New York Court Will Have a Chance to Decide

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a case involving a same-sex couple who entered into a Vermont civil union. One man died; the other, claiming the status of "surviving spouse," filed a wrongful death suit. Does a Vermont civil union make the members of a same-sex couple "spouses" under New York law? Grossman explains.
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2003

Is the Tort of Wrongful Seduction Still Viable?
A North Carolina Court Will Get the Chance to Decide

FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman discusses an attempted modern use of the age-old tort of "wrongful seduction" -- in a complaint alleging a "date rape" at a Duke University fraternity. Grossman addresses the following questions: Is the tort still alive in North Carolina, where the suit has been brought? If so, should it be abolished because it is sexist, as the defendant's lawyer contends? And, more broadly, should states create a civil claim for rape?
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2003

IF EMPLOYERS DON'T PROVIDE INSURANCE COVERING INFERTILITY, ARE THEY GUILTY OF SEX DISCRIMINATION?
A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT SAYS NO.

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses several complex questions that were recently the subject of an opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: If insurance fails to cover infertility treatments necessary for pregnancy, does it violate federal pregnancy discrimination law? And, does it violate federal sex discrimination law, since women are, after all, the ones seeking to become pregnant?
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003

ARE LAW FIRM PARTNERS "EMPLOYERS" FOR PURPOSES OF DISCRIMINATION LAW?
A FEDERAL COURT OF APPEALS SUGGESTS THEY MAY NOT BE

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman analyzes a recent antidiscrimination law/subpoena power decision written by Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The opinion suggests that law firm partners may be found, under certain factual circumstances, to be not "employers" but "employees" at their firm, and thus to be protected, under federal law, from sex, race, age, and other types of discrimination.
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2002

MUST STATES FOLLOW A FEDERAL STATUTE MANDATING UNPAID LEAVE FOR EMPLOYEES TO CARE FOR SICK FAMILY MEMBERS AND NEWBORNS?
THE SUPREME COURT WILL SOON DECIDE

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman previews the issues in an important federalism case the Supreme Court will hear this Term. The case involves the Family Medical Leave Act, the Eleventh Amendment (which grants states immunity from federal court suits), and the Fourteenth Amendment (which empowers Congress to enforce equal protection guarantees).
Tuesday, Dec. 03, 2002

WHAT DEFINES "BUSINESS NECESSITY" IN THE DISCRIMINATION CONTEXT?
APPELLATE CASE GRAPPLES WITH HOW FAST TRANSIT POLICE OFFICERS MUST RUN

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman comments on an important recent federal appellate decision regarding what it takes to prove "disparate impact" discrimination. ("Disparate impact" discrimination occurs when a facially neutral employment practice has a disproportionately adverse effect on a protected group, such as women or African-Americans.)
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2002

SHOULD EMPLOYERS BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF EMPLOYEES BY CUSTOMERS IF THEY WERE AWARE OF IT?
A CALIFORNIA COURT SAYS NO, BUT GETS IT WRONG

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grosman discusses an important new divergence between California and federal antidiscrimination law: Title VII protects employees against sexual harassment by customers and clients, but California law, according to a recent decision, does not.
Tuesday, Nov. 05, 2002

ARE AT-WILL EMPLOYEES PROTECTED AGAINST RACE DISCRIMINATION UNDER SECTION 1981, A FEDERAL ANTIDISCRIMINATION LAW?
A GROWING MAJORITY OF COURTS SAYS YES

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a federal law, Section 1981, that allows even those workers who do not fall within Title VII to sue for race discrimination. Can at-will employees, who do not work under a formal employment contract, sue under Section 1981? Grossman contends that courts are right to say yes, but that only a recent Pennsylvania decision did so for the correct reasons.
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2002

CAN A GAY MAN TARGETED BY CO-WORKERS SUE FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
A RECENT FEDERAL APPEALS DECISION SAYS YES

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a recent federal appeals case that allowed a gay butler at a Las Vegas hotel to sue for sex discrimination based on allegations of harassment by his straight coworkers. Do his claims state a case of sexual harassment (a form of sex discrimination), or only of sexual orientation discrimination? Grossman explains the complex answer to this question.
Tuesday, Oct. 08, 2002

SHOULD EMPLOYERS BE AUTOMATICALLY LIABLE WHEN SUPERVISORS COERCE SEXUAL FAVORS FROM SUBORDINATES?
THE SECOND CIRCUIT SAYS YES, AND IT'S RIGHT

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a significant recent appellate decision on an issue that has split the courts: Suppose a supervisor threatens to fire a subordinate employee unless she submits to his sexual advances--but never actually carries out the threat because she gives in. Should the employer be held automatically liable for the supervisor's sexual harassment? As Grossman explains, the issue turns on whether the submission becomes a condition of employment; she argues that it does.
Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2002

THE DARK SIDE OF ANNULMENT:
HOW A DIVORCE ALTERNATIVE BECAME THE CENTER OF A LANDMARK TRIAL EARLY IN OUR HISTORY

FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a fascinating trial that rivals O.J. Simpson's for the title of trial of the century. The 1924 case is chronicled in the recent book by Earl Lewis and Heidi Ardizzone, Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White. As Grossman explains, in the trial a wealthy white man tried to annul his marriage based on his claim that his wife had concealed her race from him prior to their marriage -- leading to surprising evidence being put forward by both sides. Grossman explains the wife's trial strategy, and contrasts annulments then and now.
Monday, Aug. 05, 2002

A RECENT SUPREME COURT DECISION GIVES A BOOST TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT VICTIMS, BUT NOT TO OTHER VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman explains the Supreme Court's recent decision relating to Title VII, the central federal anti-discrimination statute. The decision set definitive rules regarding the calculation of the period of time during which plaintiffs can sue their employers for discrimination pursuant to Title VII. Grossman argues, however, that some of these rules are incorrect, and should be changed.
Tuesday, Jul. 02, 2002

ON THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF TITLE IX, WE NEED TO PRESERVE, NOT REVERSE, ITS GUARANTEE OF EQUITY FOR WOMEN IN COLLEGE ATHLETICS
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman looks back at the history of Title IX, a federal statute banning sex discrimination in educational programs receiving federal financial assistance. She focuses, in particular, on the statute's controversial application to college athletics. Grossman explains the statute's dramatic achievements for women's participation in sports, and defends some institutions' decision to respond to budget limitations by cutting men's sports teams so new women's teams can be created, while at the same time making clear that the law does not require such measures.
Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2002

Most Recent | Page 4 | Page 3 | Page 2 | Page 1
---
Ads by FindLaw