Sexual Orientation

News & Analysis as of

New Attorney General Nominee Raises Questions for Civil Rights Enforcement

President-Elect Donald Trump has offered the job of Attorney General of the United States to Senator Jeff Sessions (R- Alabama). The announcement raised eyebrows in some circles due to Senator Sessions’ history and recent...more

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims Under TITLE VII Won’t Be Dismissed…in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of...

The EEOC is on a mission to expand the scope of Title VII to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation, and that mission has been accomplished (for now) in the United States...more

Supreme Court to Rule on Case Addressing Bathroom Access Based on Gender Identity

On October 28, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in the matter of Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., which asks the Court to weigh in on the issue of restroom access for transgender students. The...more

The Election is Over, Now What?

Now that the election is over, many clients and friends are asking what labor and employment law might look like under the soon to be President Trump. Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming term....more

The Potential Impact Of a Trump Presidency on Employers

Based on promises made during the campaign, it appears employers may expect changes in the government’s approach to workplace regulation. Although we certainly do not have a crystal ball, President-elect Trump campaigned on a...more

Pennsylvania Federal Court Issues Groundbreaking Opinion on Sexual Orientation Discrimination

While the stunning election of Donald Trump as this country's 45th President certainly will go down as historic, it's not the only groundbreaking news to have impacted the societal and employment landscape over the last...more

Oh, Wait A Minute — Sexual Orientation Bias DOES Violate Title VII?

Feeling whipsawed? Last summer, I reported on the Hively v. Ivy Tech decision, in which a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation is...more

With the Election (Mercifully) Behind Us, What Will a Trump Administration Mean for Employers?

The 2016 Presidential election was arguably the most contentious, unpredictable, and politically polarizing race in this nation's history. The contours of the electoral map changed by the hour in the days leading up to...more

SCOTUS Grimm decision could impact CFPB position on ECOA protection for gender identity and sexual orientation

On October 28, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari in Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that marked the first time...more

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

Last week, on November 4, 2016, a District Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that discrimination based on sexual orientation constitutes sex stereotyping and is prohibited by Title VII. EEOC v. Scott Medical...more

Discrimination: Sexual Orientation vs Religious Belief

In the case of Lee v Ashers Baking Co Ltd [2016] NICA 39, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal considered how to treat competing characteristics protected under anti-discrimination law, namely sexual orientation and religious...more

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

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