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Duke

Moot Court High School Tournament 2015-16: Case Prompt


Jason Dunlap is a transgender resident of Oceanville, Midlands who identifies as a male.
Since 2003, Dunlap has been employed as a janitor at LaMark Elementary School, a public
school funded entirely by the state of Midlands and managed by a board of twelve locallyelected administrators. LaMark Elementary employs forty full-time staff, including two janitors
and twenty teachers. Since beginning work, Dunlap has been a model employee, earning four
awards for employee of the year.
On October 18, 2013, Dunlap publically decided to undergo a sex change and began sex
reassignment therapy. After Dunlap announced his decision, a majority of the school board and
faculty called for his resignation. Outraged, they claimed that children whose families have
religious objections to transsexualism should not be forced to interact with people undergoing a
sex change. Many residents of the LaMark community also expressed anger, staging protests
outside the school. During one protest, a teacher from LaMark high waved a sign that stated,
Leave our school or youll be sorry.
To complete therapy, Mr. Dunlap must regularly consume testosterone medication, which
may cause drowsiness, mood swings, and chronic fatigue. Some of the duties Mr. Dunlap
performs for his job require considerable physical exertion, such as carrying heavy laboratory
equipment and scrubbing down cafeteria tables. In January 2014, Dunlap approached the school
board and asked to be relieved of these duties. Mr. Dunlap claimed that he felt too exhausted
to perform the duties but did not tell the school board about his medication. The school board
promptly denied Mr. Dunlaps request.
On January 24, the school board decided to repaint the entire interior of the high school,
which had not been done in fifteen years. Mr. Dunlap was assigned the job in its entirety and was
given a deadline of one week. On January 25, Mr. Dunlap resigned from his job. The next day,
the school board released the following public statement: Jason Dunlap left LaMark elementary
entirely by his own will. The school board did not discriminate against him based on his
orientation or his medical condition.
Jason Dunlap is bringing a claim of Title VII employment discrimination. In 1000 words
or fewer, evaluate Dunlaps claim using constitutional reasoning. Applicants are free to compare
the strengths and weaknesses of the claim from a neutral standpoint or advocate for one side of
the issue as they see fit. No preference or penalty will be given based on the position you choose.
In writing the essay, applicants may refer to the materials provided in appendix 1 but not on any
outside sources.

Appendix 1

United States Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, Section 703
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to
discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect
to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such
individuals race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Derr v. Gulf Oil Corp (1986)


To establish "constructive discharge" under Title VII, an employee must have been
subjected to intolerable working conditions which would foreseeably compel a reasonable
employee to quit, whether or not the employer specifically intended to force the victim's
resignation.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond


The employer has the right to fix the qualifications that are necessary or preferred in
selecting an employee, and, in order to make out a prima facie case, a plaintiff must
establish that she meets these qualifications.