Elyse Hilton


employment, discrimination, employment law, private club, private club exemption, Title VII, section 1981, freedom of association


This Note examines the general history and function of Title VII and section 1981 of the civil rights law. The author discusses the problems inherent in defining an organization as a private club, for purposes of employment non-discrimination efforts. The Note examines statutory construction and legislative history, as well as case law to assess arguments as to whether Title VII impliedly amends section 1981 with respect to the private club exemption. The author argues that membership discrimination cases in the case law differ radically from employment discrimination cases, which address entirely different sets of rights. The argument concludes therefore that courts should consider Title VII and section 1981 as two separate remedies. Finally, the author recommends that because nothing in the legislative history supports the private club exemption and because club members' right to freedom of association does not extend to their relationships with club employees, Congress should repeal that part of Title VII that provides such an exemption.



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