Supreme Court Grants Certiorari On LGBT Discrimination Issues

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
04/24/2019
On April 22, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorariin three cases relating to Title VII’s coverage (or noncoverage) of workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or transgender status.  Those cases are Bostock v. Clayton County, GA(No. 17-1618), Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda(No. 17-1623), and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC (No. 18-107). The Court consolidated Bostockand Zarda, which both concern whether...
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Fifth Circuit To Consider Claim Of “Reverse” Sexual Orientation Bias

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
01/09/2019
On January 11, 2019, the Supreme Court will consider whether to take any one of three cases that may clarify whether Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex includes discrimination against LGBT applicants and employees.  At the same time, a heterosexual woman in Louisiana is trying to convince a federal appeals court that she was discriminated against because of her heterosexual orientation when she was fired by a gay supervisor,...
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11th Circuit Judge Criticizes Colleagues’ Response To Sexual Orientation Under Title VII

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
07/26/2018
On May 10, 2018, a three-judge panel on the Eleventh Circuit (which covers Alabama, Florida, and Georgia) affirmed dismissal of an employment discrimination lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Bostock v. Clayton Cnty. Bd. of Comm’rs, No. 17-13801 (11th Cir. May 10, 2018).  The panel concluded that, under Eleventh Circuit precedent, Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on an employee’s sexual orientation.  Id....
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Supreme Court Dodges Sticky Issues in Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case

Both sides of the political divide had been eagerly awaiting the decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  The Supreme Court’s decision, however, largely left the central issue of the case unresolved. This case involves a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in 2012 because doing so would have gone against his religious beliefs.  At the time he made this decision, Colorado’s...
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Oh God: Sixth Circuit Reverses Funeral Home Win Over Transgender Employee

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
03/09/2018
Amiee Stephens worked for a funeral home when she was known as Anthony Stephens. The funeral home is a closely held corporation, owned by a devout Christian.  The funeral home itself, however, is not affiliated with a church and does not claim to have a religious purpose in its articles of incorporation.  It is open every day, including Christian holidays, and it serves clients of all faiths. The short factual summary:  when Stephens told the...
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Appeals Court Rules Sexual Orientation Discrimination Prohibited By Title VII

On February 26, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that sexual orientation discrimination constitutes a form of discrimination “because of . . . sex” in violation of Title VII.    Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., 2d Cir., No. 15-03775 (2/26/18).  The court overturned prior decisions holding otherwise, saying that “legal doctrine evolves.”  This is the second appeals court to depart from precedent and...
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LGBTQ Protections and Best Practices Under Title VII

We are pleased to announce that Darrell VanDeusen and Alex Berg's recent article on "LGBTQ Protections and Best Practices under Title VII" has been published on Lexis Practice Advisor and Law360 (subscriptions required). A copy of the article, which is intended primarily to inform employers about the current state of the law across federal appellate courts and to provide practical pointers to businesses who face LGBTQ issues in the workplace, can be...
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Business Community Responds to Administration's Transgender Discrimination Memorandum

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
10/13/2017
The ink was still fresh on the DOJ’s October 4 memorandum recanting the federal government’s position that Title VII protects transgender individuals at work, as a drove of major U.S. businesses responded in opposition. In an amicus brief filed October 10, a group of 76 businesses and organizations demands equality in the workplace and urges the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital.  Evans involves...
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The Saga Continues for Title VII and Transgender Identity

Much like Star Wars fans anticipate the rolling out of Episode after Episode, I have observed the developing landscape of Title VII sex discrimination with the sort of excitement that ordinarily warrants a big tub of popcorn.  The most recent activity is no exception. Two weeks ago, we reported on the Department of Justice’s statement that sexual orientation is not – nor should be – a protected category under Title VII. Last week, the...
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DOJ Goes Rogue On Whether Title VII Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
07/28/2017
In an amicus brief filed July 26, 2017, with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Department of Justice declared that an employee's sexual orientation is not and should not be a protected status under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Stated simply: sex discrimination does not extend to sexual orientation discrimination because the "essential element of sex discrimination under Title VII is that employees of one sex must be treated...
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