Skip to main content

Not man enough for this job?

The male brain (google images)
Last week, El’Jai Devoureau in New Jersey filed a discrimination lawsuit against his former employer. El’Jai claims he was unfairly fired from his job as a urine monitor when his boss found out that he is transgender. 

Only a man is allowed to do the job, which is to monitor men taking urine samples at a drug treatment centre, in order to ensure that people recovering from addiction do not substitute someone else’s urine for their own during regular drug testing. 

But that is not the issue – it is perfectly legitimate for certain jobs to favour one group over another – for instance preferring women nurses in maternity wards. The issue here is whether or not El’Jai is in fact a man. He was born physically a woman, but has identified himself as a man all his life. In 2006 he had sex-change surgery, and now has a new birth certificate and driver’s licence that confirm his gender as male. El’Jai argues that he is a man, and his firing constitutes discrimination.

The court will have to decide whether or not El’Jai is a man. This is a line-drawing exercise, as are so many cases that I’ve come across in law school. What does it mean to be a man or woman, and where do you draw the line between the two? In order to help with tricky issues like these, the court will often give a list of relevant factors to consider and whichever side the balance leans towards, that’s your answer.

The court should do the same thing in El’Jai’s case. Here is a 7-factor test the court can use to determine whether or not El’Jai is a man:

1.       Does he leave the toilet seat up?
2.       Does his idea of a balanced meal consist of beer, wings and pizza?
3.       Is he unable to ask for directions?
4.       Does he hate shopping?
5.       Does he not understand women?
6.       Does he shout at the TV when the game is on?
7.       Is his mind occupied with a certain few things (see diagram above)?

If El’Jai answers affirmatively to all the above factors, he meets the criteria and congratulations – he’s a man!

References:



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Science of Happiness Explained

I'm at the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans, and almost skipped the keynote session - because an hour-long talk about happiness sounded irritating. But actually I didn't want to strangle the speaker at all. 

The Happiness Professor as she is known, is Catherine Sanderson. She teaches at Amherst College and has degrees from Princeton and Stanford. She presented research from the field of positive psychology that looks at the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provided practical ways that we can increase our own psychological well-being.
Things we think will make us happy, but really don’t: Money. (Note: for people worried about survival, this doesn’t apply.) But beyond that, the more of it one has, the more one wants. 
Climate. Not convinced about this one. As a person who has been living in Florida for 6 years, from Canada, I can tell you that she may have gotten this one wrong. 
Life event. In other words, when X thing happ…

The new year’s resolution every associate should make

Our firm's associates are a talented bunch. They graduated top of their class, have backgrounds as musical theater performers and soccer players, and are multilingual and multicultural. But brains and talent can only get one so far in today’s legal profession. Regardless of what their future career goals are - to make partner, start their own firm, join a government or nonprofit organization - everyone needs a roadmap to get where they want to go. Help your associates to make it their new year’s resolution to create a business development plan in 2018. Here’s how to coach them: Create a written plan. Writing down your goals makes you accountable to them and more likely to achieve them. Also, you get the satisfaction of crossing your action items off your list as you complete them. Find a sample template online and use it.   Don't fret that you have written down your goals and are now tied to them. Think of your plan as a living, breathing document, and correct course as you go.…

Book Review: Accelerating Lawyer Success

What does success look like in law firms? The authors, frustrated with the abundance of anecdotal evidence and lack of empirical evidence to answer this question, set out to solve it with research. Their findings are based on studies including a comprehensive, 75-item survey completed by 343 lawyers at U.S. AmLaw 100 firms. They examine, among other things, the differences between lawyers who made partner in less than 10 years and those who didn't.
Accelerating Lawyer Success: How to Make Partner, Stay Healthy, and Flourish in a Law Firm. By Lori Berman, Heather Bock, and Juliet Aiken. 

The authors have uncovered the recipe for how to make partner in less than 10 years. In short, it involves hard work and quality work, strategic relationship building, planning, help from mentors, and a mind-set of being the master of your own fate. You gotta build relationships strategically, invest in them, and leverage them. You need goals, to make plans, and to stick to them for the most part. An…