University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Yale University v. Connecticut State Codes and Standards Committee ED-CT-0006
Docket / Court HHB-CV-17-6038904-S ( State Court )
Additional Docket(s) NNH-CV-17-6071573-S    district not recorded
State/Territory Connecticut
Case Type(s) Education
Public Accomm./Contracting
Case Summary
At the urging of a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual law students called OutLaws, in December 2016, Yale University requested an exemption from Connecticut’s building code, which required a building to have a minimum number of bathrooms for women and men, not including gender- ... read more >
At the urging of a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual law students called OutLaws, in December 2016, Yale University requested an exemption from Connecticut’s building code, which required a building to have a minimum number of bathrooms for women and men, not including gender-neutral bathrooms. Seeking to better accommodate individuals of all gender identities by increasing the number of gender-neutral bathrooms, Yale Law School sought to convert a portion of its existing bathrooms in the Sterling Law Building to be gender-neutral and to have these gender-neutral restrooms still count towards the required minimum. The state’s deputy building inspector denied Yale’s request. The Connecticut Codes and Standards Committee affirmed the inspector’s decision in March 2017.

In response, on June 23, 2017, Yale filed an administrative appeal of the Codes and Standards Committee’s decision in the State of Connecticut Superior Court Judicial District of New Haven. The Clearinghouse does not have a copy of the filings or orders in this case. However, NBC News reported that int its appeal, Yale sought an order permitting their gender-neutral bathrooms to be counted toward the required minimum bathrooms and requiring the state to modify their rules to allow gender-neutral bathrooms to count towards code compliance in all scenarios. Yale argued that the construction of more restrooms would negatively impact the building’s architecture. Yale also noted that the conversion of these restrooms to gender-neutral would “facilitate quick access to a bathroom within the building for persons of all gender identities.”

Shortly after the administrative appeal was filed, Reuters reported that then Governor Dannel Malloy and his administration would seek to grant Yale’s request.

In July 2017, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities was permitted to intervene in the case. According to the Commission’s report for fiscal year 2017-2018, the Commission filed an amicus brief in support of Yale.

On July 21, 2017, the case was transferred from the Judicial District of New Haven to New Britain.

At some point, Governor Malloy successfully intervened to grant Yale’s request. The appeal was withdrawn on January 18, 2018 and the case was closed. As reported by the ABA Journal , in October 2018, Connecticut updated their building code so that single-user bathroom facilities for use by any person would count towards the minimum required bathrooms.

Emily Kempa - 08/04/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
General
Bathrooms
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Connecticut State Codes and Standards Committee
Plaintiff Description Yale Law School
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Exemption from Connecticut's building code
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2017
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
HHB-CV-17-6038904-S (State Trial Court)
ED-CT-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/18/2018
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
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Defendant's Lawyers Graham, Drew S (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0006-9000

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