A Weighty Legal Issue
Jazzercize, Inc. has settled a lawsuit brought by a 240-pound woman claiming that the company discriminated against her on the basis of weight when it refused to hire her as an aerobics instructor. The case, which was reported in the March 1, 2002, Docket Watch, was filed under a San Francisco ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of weight and height. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Jazzercize will drop its requirement that instructors maintain a “fit appearance.”

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle (May 7, 2002)

Wrongful Breast Enhancement?
A California jury has found plastic surgeon Gordon Mitts not liable for a breast reconstruction that resulted in a patient’s breasts being augmented instead of reduced, as the patient had requested. The patient, Mathie Garcia, underwent the elective surgery to remove breast implants and lift and reduce her breasts. She claimed that Mitts’ performed the surgery incorrectly, resulting in an even bigger breast size. Mitts argued that he informed Garcia of the various surgical options, and she chose the one that would cause the least scarring. He also stated that, due to previous scarring and large breast cavities, the use of larger implants was necessary. The jury found in favor of Mitts 9 to 3.

Source: The National Law Journal (March 18, 2002) (via the Center for Individual Freedom)

Criminal Intent
American women and girls are five times more likely to be murdered than women in other industrialized nations, according to a recently released study by the Harvard School of Public Health. Of the nearly 6,300 women killed in the top 25 industrialized countries in one year, about 4,400 were American. Finland had the second-highest rate of female homicides, followed by Switzerland, Belgium, and New Zealand. Israel had the lowest female homicide rate, according to the study.

Source: Yahoo News (April 17, 2002) (via free-market.net)

Judges Are People Too
A Tennessee administrative law judge has filed a federal lawsuit against her employer, the Tennessee Department of State, charging that her supervisors have created a hostile work environment for women and that she has been the victim of discrimination because of her religious beliefs. The complaint alleges that co-workers circulated sexually explicit jokes in email and that the plaintiff’s “religious belief that homosexuality is a sin puts her at odds with someone in her office.”

Source: The Tennessean (May 7) (via overlawyered.com)

Let’s Hear it for the Boys (and Girls)!
The United States Department of Education has announced that it will no longer discourage single-sex education in the nation’s public schools. The proposal to allow school districts to establish all-male and all-female schools reverses the government’s earlier position that such schools violate Title IX, the law that prohibits educational institutions from discriminating on the basis of sex. The change was made in order to comply with the education reform bill signed into law by President Bush in January. That statute clarifies federal law on the issue of single-sex schools and encourages school districts to apply for federal funding to establish such schools.

Source: The Washington Post (May 9, 2002)