Document Type


Publication Date



Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits racial, religious, gender, ethnic, and color discrimination in employment. In most instances the courts interpret the statute very broadly. However, a line of cases holds that discrimination predicated on a forbidden criterion coupled with a ‘mutable’—easily altered—characteristic does not constitute a violation of Title VII. This Article attempts to debunk the ‘mutable’ characteristic doctrine by discerning a general definition of discrimination under Title VII and applying that definition to demonstrate that mutability analysis contradicts the letter and spirit of the law.

Publication Citation

20 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 769 (1987).