News & Analysis as of

Is Religious Freedom a Defense to LGBT Discrimination Claims?

Certainly, the trend in employment law has been toward greater equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. Same-sex marriage is now the law of the land due to the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer...more

Transgender Claim Meets Dress Code

The worlds of transgender versus religious rights collided hard recently when an EEOC action on behalf of a discharged transgender worker ran full force into a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) defense, and the EEOC...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Title VII Does Not Prohibit Sexual Orientation Discrimination, But Acknowledges Inherent Flaws in Precedent...

In a carefully reasoned but ultimately restrained opinion the Seventh Circuit held that Title VII does not prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation. While declining to become the first circuit...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

Seventh Circuit Says Title VII Does Not Protect Against Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

On July 29, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals handed the EEOC a major setback, concluding that Title VII does not protect employees against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 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

The Writing is on the Wall, Yet Seventh Circuit Holds Sexual Orientation Is Not a Protected Class Under Title VII

Earlier this week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College that Title VII does not protect employees or offer redress for discrimination based on sexual orientation. As a result,...more

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Not Protected by Title VII, Federal Court Rules

The anti-discrimination protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act do not encompass workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, has...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

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Not Covered Under Title VII, Court Says

But Decision Provides Ample Warning To Employers - A federal court of appeals recently announced that it had no choice but to deny an LGBT plaintiff’s request to proceed with a sexual orientation discrimination claim...more

Employment Law Commentary, July 2016: The EEOC’s New Focus On LGBTQ Discrimination: How To Stay Out Of The Headlines

The year 2015 was a breakthrough year for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. Just over a year ago, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision on marriage...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: August 2016

Contrary to the EEOC’s position that sexual orientation discrimination is protected by Title VII’s prohibition on gender discrimination, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held last week that existing law does not support...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 LGBT Cases in the News

Settlement of Sexual Orientation Case – The EEOC and a Maryland employer have settled a landmark sexual orientation discrimination case. EEOC v. Pallet Companies d/b/a IFCO Systems NA, Inc. was filed in March 2016, and was...more

EEOC Settles First Sexual Orientation Discrimination Suit

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced last week that it had settled a suit against Pallet Companies (doing business as IFCO Systems) for $202,200. As we previously discussed here, this suit is one...more

IFCO Systems Will Pay $202,200 In Landmark Settlement Of One Of EEOC’s First Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuits

Company Fired Worker Who Complained About Sexual Orientation Harassment, Federal Agency Charged - BALTIMORE - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that Pallet Companies, doing business...more

Courts Consider New Definition Of “Sex” Discrimination – What It Means For Pennsylvania Employers

Can employees in Western Pennsylvania sue their employer for sexual orientation discrimination under federal law? Right now, the answer is no – but that may be changing soon. In a landmark case called EEOC v. Scott...more

Discrimination of LGBT is Sex Discrimination: EEOC Guidance Clearly Outlines the Commission’s Position

As discussions regarding the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) employees in the workplace increase, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or “Commission”) offers guidance concerning...more

The EEOC Calls for Federal Judge to Continue with Sexual Orientation Discrimination Case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) asked U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Bissoon in the Western District of Pennsylvania to reject a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit alleging a worker was discriminated against...more

EEOC: Denial of Transgender Employees' Access to a Common Restroom Violates Title VII

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a "Fact Sheet” setting forth its position that denying an employee equal access to a common (i.e., multi-user) restroom corresponding to the employee's...more

Louisiana Governor Signs LGBT Discrimination Executive Order in Public Employment and Services

On April 13, 2016, Louisiana’s new governor, John Bel Edwards, signed an executive order protecting state employees and employees of state contractors from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual...more

Bathroom Bills: What Employers Need To Know

Seyfarth Synopsis: The passage of “Bathroom” or “Religious Freedom” bills raises issues for employers operating in impacted states. Employers in these states may wish to consider taking proactive and affirmative steps in the...more

Love Won't Let Me Wait (for Congress): EEOC Files “Sexual Orientation” Employment Discrimination Lawsuits Based on Title VII of...

On March 1, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") did something that many in the world of employment law have anticipated for a long time but still find remarkable: it sued two employers in federal...more

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