Sexual Orientation

News & Analysis as of

Court sets aside Title VII sexual orientation decision, agrees to rehear

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has vacated Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, which found that Title VII did not protect against sexual orientation discrimination. I wrote about the decision, issued...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses Decision that Title VII Doesn’t Protect Against Anti-Gay Discrimination and Agrees to Re-hear Employment...

The Seventh Circuit reversed and vacated the panel decision holding that Title VII does not protect employees from anti-gay discrimination and will re-hear the case, Hivey v. Tech Community College, en banc. Kimberly Hively...more

Second Circuit to Consider Whether Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Protected Under Title VII

On September 16, 2016, in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group Inc. et al., 16-cv-748 (2d Cir 2016), ad agency DDB Worldwide (“DDB”) argued before the Second Circuit that Title VII does not support discrimination claims based on...more

Hairstyle Is Not a Protected Category but Sexual Orientation Likely Is

Several recent decisions have opened the door to further scrutiny regarding discrimination and the basis for a finding of discriminatory conduct by an employer. These decisions continue to show the volatility of...more

Seventh Circuit Rules Sexual Orientation Discrimination Not Protected By Title VII, But Ruling Has Little Overall Impact

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that, consistent with existing case law, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not Title VII discrimination "on the basis of sex," and,...more

Minister or Not? Gay Bias Case Turns on Employee’s Role

Seyfarth Synopsis: A federal judge has allowed a discrimination lawsuit to proceed against the Archdiocese of Chicago. The plaintiff alleges that his engagement to another man resulted in his termination. The church sought...more

Out With the Old “Mad Men” Era Sex Discrimination Guidelines for Federal Contractors

By Final Rule on August 15, 2016, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) updated its sex discrimination guidelines, in an effort to ensure that companies doing business with the...more

What the Seventh Circuit’s Recent Title VII Ruling Means for Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace

On July 28, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (“Seventh Circuit”) ruled that Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation discrimination. See, Hively v. Ivy Tech Cmty. Coll., 2016 BL...more

Is Sexual Orientation a Protected Category under Title VII?

That question has been asked for many years, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 (U.S. v. Windsor) and subsequently held state bans of same-sex marriages are...more

Seventh Circuit Holds that Title VII - as it Stands - Does not Encompass Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, 2016 WL 4039703 (7th Cir. July 28, 2016), the court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) does not encompass claims for sex discrimination based on sexual...more

A Conflicted 7th Circuit Holds Title VII Does Not Cover Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In a precedent-setting decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on July 28th that Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation discrimination. The case is Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech...more

Court Says No Protection for Sexual Orientation Discrimination

On July 28, the Seventh Circuit became the first of the thirteen federal appellate courts to address whether Title VII protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation since the EEOC administratively ruled...more

Huh? Title VII And Sexual Orientation Bias, Revisited

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided last week in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College that sexual orientation discrimination is not prohibited by Title VII, consistent with a long line of appellate court...more

Seventh Circuit Makes the Case for Covering Sexual Orientation Under Title VII—Then Punts to the Supreme Court

A former adjunct teacher who accused her employer of sexual orientation discrimination lost her case because federal law does not offer protection for employees who say they are discriminated against on that basis. A panel...more

EEOC Sexual Orientation Lawsuit Settles For $200K Plus

As I’ve previously reported, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed two lawsuits alleging that employers discriminated against employees based on sexual orientation, which the Commission says is prohibited by...more

DOJ and DOE issue guidance on privacy rights of transgender students

On May 13, 2016, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) describing reasonable steps to protect transgender students under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of...more

Federal Appeals Court May Soon Decide Whether Title VII Ban on Sex Discrimination Applies to Sexual Orientation

Two pending cases may provide the first rulings from federal appeals courts that Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Last September, the Seventh Circuit heard arguments in Hively v....more

House Bill 2: What It Does and Does Not Do (A Private Sector Business Perspective)

H.B. 2 does not preclude private sector businesses or employers from adopting policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity nor regulate their decisions with regard to employee or...more

New York State Governor’s Executive Order Regarding Transgender Restrooms

In New York State, sex discrimination protections extend to transgender persons, and “gender dysphoria” is a protected “disability” under the Human Rights Law. Employers may not discriminate against individuals because of...more

A Whole Bunch Of Nothing: Five Takes On Gov. Mccrory’s “Walkback” Of N.C. HB 2

NOTE FROM ROBIN: As you know, my main collaborator on HB2-related developments has been my law partner, Jon Yarbrough, who is in our firm’s Asheville Office. Jon has offered his thoughts about Executive Order No. 93, which...more

Employment Practices Newsletter - April 2016

Is Labor Law Putting the Franchise Business Model at Risk? - Over the course of the last year, we have kept you abreast of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case law and Department of Labor (DOL) interpretive/...more

Mayor de Blasio Signs New Laws Strengthening NYC’s Human Rights Law

On Monday, March 28, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed several bills (Intros 814-A, 818-A, and 819) amending the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). The amendments strengthen employee protections by changing existing...more

EEOC Files First Sex Orientation Discrimination Lawsuits

For the first time since announcing last year that workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC has filed two sex discrimination cases...more

Five Suggestions to Create a Transgender-Inclusive Workplace

To get ahead of the curve, employers should start adopting more inclusive policies aimed at accommodating transgender employees. To date, 19 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws prohibiting discrimination in...more

Developments in Employee Benefits Law: Same-Sex Marriage and Title VII’s Protection for LGBT Employees

A number of recent legal changes will have a notable impact on employee benefits law both now and in the future. Some of the most significant of those changes are the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in...more

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