U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

September 2016 Archives

In Miami-Dade County, sex offenders who have been convicted of crimes involving victims under the age of 16 cannot live within 2,500 feet of any school, with few exceptions. Now, two sex offenders say that the restrictions were so harsh they were driven to homelessness. Miami-Dade's law so limited housing options that both offenders had nowhere left to live but a homeless encampment, they claim.

Those offenders sued, alleging that the law, adopted in 2005 and after their convictions, was so punitive that it violated the ex post facto clause of the federal and Florida constitutions. Though their claims were initially tossed out, the Eleventh Circuit revived their suit on Monday, finding that the offenders had sufficiently alleged that Miami-Dade County had violated their constitutional rights.

Does a prohibition on employee dreadlocks amount to racial discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act? Not according to the Eleventh Circuit. Though dreads may be closely associated with African American race and culture, a ban on the hairstyle doesn't amount to racial discrimination, the court ruled last Thursday.

The ruling came after the EEOC brought a lawsuit on behalf of Chastity Jones, an applicant who was offered a job at a customer service call center, on the condition that she chop off her dreadlocks.