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Dothard_v-1._Rawlinson

Dothard_v-1._Rawlinson - Dothard v Rawlinson 433 U.S...

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Dothard v. Rawlinson 433 U.S. 321 (1977) Supreme Court of the United States Mr. Justice STEWART delivered the opinion of the Court. Appellee Dianne Rawlinson sought employment with the Alabama Board of Corrections [(“Board or Board of Corrections”)] as a prison guard called in Alabama a ‘correctional coun- selor.’ After her application was rejected, she brought this class suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 253, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (1970 ed. and Supp. V), and under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that she had been denied employment because of her sex in violation of federal law. A three-judge Federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama decided in her favor. Mieth v. Dothard, 418 F.Supp. 1169. We noted probable jurisdiction of this appeal from the District Court's judgment. . . I At the time she applied for a position as correctional counselor trainee, Rawlinson was a 22-year- old college graduate whose major course of study had been correctional psychology. She was re- fused employment because she failed to meet the minimum 120-pound weight requirement es- tablished by an Alabama statute. The statute also establishes a height minimum of 5 feet 2 inches. 1 After her application was rejected because of her weight, Rawlinson filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and ultimately received a right-to-sue letter. She then filed a complaint in the District Court on behalf of herself and other similarly situated wo- men, challenging the statutory height and weight minima as violative of Title VII . . . A three- judge court was convened. While the suit was pending, the Alabama Board of Corrections adop- ted Administrative Regulation 204, establishing gender criteria for assigning correctional coun- selors to maximum-security institutions for ‘contact positions,’ that is, positions requiring con- tinual close physical proximity to inmates of the institution. Rawlinson amended her class-action complaint by adding a challenge to regulation 204 as also violative of Title VII . . . . Like most correctional facilities in the United States, Alabama's prisons are segregated on the basis of sex. Currently the Alabama Board of Corrections operates four major all-male peniten- tiaries Holman Prison, Kilby Corrections Facility, G. K. Fountain Correction Center, and Draper Correctional Center. The Board also operates the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, the Frank 1 The statute establishes minimum physical standards for all law enforcement officers. In pertinent part, it provides: “(d) Physical qualifications. The applicant shall be not less than five feet two inches nor more than six feet ten inches in height, shall weigh not less than 120 pounds nor more than 300 pounds and shall be certified by a licensed physician designated as satisfactory by the appointing authority as in good health and physic- ally fit for the performance of his duties as a law-enforcement officer. The commission may for good cause shown permit variances from the physical qualifications prescribed in this subdivision.” Ala.Code, Tit. 55, § 373(109) (Supp. 1973).
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