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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Full Second Circuit Joins The "Does Title VII Prohibit Sexual Orientation Bias" Party.

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/31/2017
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to let its full panel determine whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation.  Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., No. 15-3775 (2d Cir. May 25, 2017) (en banc review granted). As we wrote about last month, the full Seventh Circuit concluded in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (7th Cir. 2017), in an 8-3...
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Second Circuit Holds Sexual Orientation Not Protected By Title VII

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
03/28/2017
In a case that has been closely watched, in Christiansen v. Omnicorp Grp., Inc., No. 16-749 (2d Cir. March 27, 2017), a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit decided that a gay, HIV-positive employee is not able to pursue a claim of sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII, concluding that Title VII does not protect against gay bias.  The Second Circuit cut to the case and concluded that absent a ruling by the Supreme Court, or a full...
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D.C. Office Of Human Rights Publishes Best Practices Guide On Transgender Rights

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
12/02/2016
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights recently published a best practices guide for employers regarding transgender issues in the workplace: Valuing Transgender Applicants and Employees: A Best Practices Guide For Employers.  Combined with earlier guidance from the EEOC on transgender bathroom access and LGBT discrimination, employers must not ignore this issue. The DCOHR guidance offers nine “best practices” for employers dealing...
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Federal Court Finds Sexual Orientation Protected By Title VII

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
11/15/2016
It was only a matter of time, which has now come to pass.  In EEOC v. Scott Med. Health Ctr. (W.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2016), trial judge Cathy Bissoon determined that the EEOC may pursue a claim that Scott Medical Health Center violated Title VII when it permitted a supervisor to harass a gay employee because of his sexual orientation to the point the employee felt compelled to resign.  When the employer moved to dismiss the case, arguing that legal...
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Court Rules Against EEOC On Transgender Discrimination Claim

On August 18, 2016, a federal district court ruled that a Michigan funeral home did not violate Title VII by firing a transgender employee, who was transitioning from male to female, because the employee intended to “dress as a woman” at work.  EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Funeral Homes, Inc., E.D. Mich., No. 14-13710, 8/18/16 The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled the funeral home was entitled to a religious exemption...
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North Carolina Enacts The Most Sweeping Anti-LGBT Law In The Country

I went to law school in North Carolina.  My daughter went to college there, at a school that uses a lighter color blue than the one I went to.  I have family members and dear friends who have lived in North Carolina for decades.  I mention this because I love the state of North Carolina.  Maybe just not some (many) of its legislators, or at least 82 of them.  As I heard the author John Irving say just this past week:  “if you must practice...
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Sexual Orientation Discrimination Covered By Title VII?

David Baldwin, a Supervisory Air Traffic Control Specialist at Miami International Airport, filed a federal lawsuit because he was denied a promotion to a permanent position as a Front Line Manager.  The lawsuit filed under Title VII alleges that Baldwin was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.  While many state laws explicitly provide that sexual orientation cannot be the basis of an employment action, Title VII does not...
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