UMass Law Professor John Rice joined two panels of law professors to discuss issues related to employment law at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) 2020 Annual Meeting.
In a panel discussion on LGBT rights in the workplace, Professor Rice commented on the impact of the recent Supreme Court opinion Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., in which the Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Professor Rice remarked that the Court’s opinion was a significant case on the issue of statutory interpretation and created a clear framework for analysis of workplace discrimination claims. Professor Rice also forecast that a case currently pending before the Supreme Court—Fulton v. City of Philadelphia—may present an opportunity to explore potential conflict between LGBT equality and religious freedom.
Professor Rice also joined a panel of law professors discussing the impact of emerging technology on the workplace. Professor Rice addressed the ethical implications of lawyers working remotely and the likely emergence of remote working as a form of reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other presenters commented on a range of related topics, including the future of work, workplace privacy, and the potential for discriminatory actions through job advertising on social media.
The SEALS Annual Meeting, which was held virtually, featured over 100 law professors, judges, and practitioners from across the country and internationally presenting on cutting-edge topics on a breadth of legal issues.