Ambat v. City & County of San Francisco, 2014 WL 2959634 (9th Cir. 2014)

The plaintiffs in this case are current and former deputies of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (“SFSD”) who challenged the SFSD’s policy prohibiting male deputies from supervising female inmates. The deputies contend that the policy violates Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination. The district court granted summary judgment to the City and County of San Francisco, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that San Francisco was not entitled to the defense that being a female was a “bona fide occupation qualification” for supervising female inmates. The Court held that statistics reflecting sexual misconduct perpetrated by male deputies against female inmates “while troubling… by themselves do not prove that ‘all or substantially all’ male deputies are likely to perpetrate sexual misconduct.”