Civil and Human Rights

RELEASE: Federal Appeals Court Decision Is Victory for Title VII, Workers

WASHINGTON, DC – The en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued a major ruling holding that “an employer that transfers an employee or denies an employee’s transfer request because of the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin violates Title VII by discriminating against the employee with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.”  

Constitutional Accountability Center filed an amicus brief in the case and CAC Chief Counsel Brianne Gorod issued the following reaction:

Today, the D.C. Circuit overruled a prior decision of that court that had required those who claim employment discrimination under Title VII to show an employer’s action—either the denial or forced acceptance of a job transfer—caused “objectively tangible harm.” As we demonstrated in a brief we filed in the case, that prior decision was at odds with the text and history of Title VII. The Court today was right to overrule it.

Congress passed Title VII to eliminate discrimination in employment and to ensure equality of employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. To achieve that aim, Congress broadly prohibited “discriminat[ion] against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” The requirement that an individual show “objectively tangible harm” had no basis in the text of the statute and undermined the statute’s ability to achieve the goals for which it was passed.

Today’s decision is an important victory for all workers, making clear that individuals can seek redress under Title VII for discriminatory job transfers, as the text and history of Title VII require.  



CAC case page in Chambers v. District of Columbia:


Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at


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