News & Commentary

December 7, 2023

Michelle Berger

Michelle Berger is a student at Harvard Law School.

In today’s News and Commentary: The Washington Post Guild is striking for the first time in decades, the Court heard arguments in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis, and Winston & Strawn changed its diversity fellowship eligibility criteria.

700 members of the Washington Post Guild are on strike today in light of stalled contract negotiations and potential layoffs. The Guild is asking readers not to engage with any of the newspaper’s digital content during the walkout, the Post’s first since the 1970s. In a letter to readers, the Guild explained that Washington Post management has refused to bargain in good faith, laid off nearly 40 works in the past year, and has proposed a buyout package intended to eliminate another 240 jobs. According to the letter, the Post’s “former publisher’s bad business decisions squandered our profits. Instead of executives bearing the weight of this mismanagement, The Post repeatedly made workers pay the price.” The Guild asks: “On Dec. 7, we ask you to respect our walkout by not crossing the picket line: For 24 hours, please do not engage with any Washington Post content.”

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard arguments in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis. The question in Muldrow is whether an employee can sue under Title VII when their employer transfers them because of their sex, even if the transfer does not result in significant disadvantage. Dallas wrote more about the case here last month. The New York Times reports that the Justices appeared to be leaning in favor of a permissive Title VII standards, which would be a win for prospective litigants. Even so, for employees harmed by discrimination, litigation is far from a perfect solution. As Andrew wrote here last week, win or lose, Muldrow shows why workers need unions.  

Edward Blum, the architect behind the Supreme Court decision that ended affirmative action in higher education, has convinced law firm Winston & Strawn to alter its criteria for a diversity fellowship. In apparent response to Blum filing suit, the firm has deleted references to “membership in a disadvantaged and/or historically underrepresented group in the legal profession” in the fellowship eligibility criteria, Bloomberg reports. Blum withdrew the suit yesterday. Dallas wrote about the potential impact of colorblind constitutionalism on employment here.

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