News & Analysis as of

Courts are Trending Toward Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination under Federal Law

Two recent court decisions highlight the ongoing struggle by federal courts to determine whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation....more

Employment And Labor Law Developments (And A Few Other Things) I’m Thankful For

This has been a weird year for me. (And, no, I’m not even thinking about the election!) But I have much to be thankful for, and I hope you do, too. BREAKING THING TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Yesterday evening, the U.S....more

Pennsylvania Court Says Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (‘EEOC”) has been aggressively advancing its position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation even though sexual...more

Pennsylvania Federal Court Holds that Sexual Orientation is Protected Under Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not expressly list sexual orientation as a protected classification. Last year, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held that sexual orientation is a form of...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

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

Employment Newsletter - Fall 2016

Over the last five years, members of the LGBTQ community have had much to celebrate as traditional barriers to equality have been knocked down one-by- one by the federal government. In 2010, the Patient Protection and...more

The EEOC’s Push to Expand Employees’ Rights Under Title VII to Include Protection from Workplace Discrimination on the Basis of...

Over the last five years, members of the LGBTQ community have had much to celebrate as traditional barriers to equality have been knocked down one-by-one by the federal government. In 2010, the Patient Protection and...more

Religious Institutions Update: October 2016

Timely Topics - The final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on May...more

Seventh Circuit to Re-Hear Case Determining Whether Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Covered By Title VII

Seyfarth Synopsis: A Seventh Circuit panel’s ruling that Title VII does not cover claims of sexual orientation discrimination will be heard en banc by the Circuit. Whether an en banc ruling affirms or reverses the panel’s...more

A Look Through The Crystal Ball: The EEOC’s Updated 2017-2021 Strategic Enforcement Plan

Seyfarth Synopsis: On October 17, 2016, the EEOC unveiled its updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”) for Fiscal Years 2017-2021. It ought to be required reading for every employer and their executive teams. The New...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

Takeaways from the EEOC’s Loss of Noteworthy Transgender Rights Case

Since the EEOC first ruled in 2012 that discrimination based on transgender status constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Title VII, the EEOC has continued to expand protections for transgender employees, finding that...more

Is There a Change in the Wind for LGBTQ Law?

Unlike many of us, the courts were not on vacation during the month of August in the area of LGBTQ law. We have seen a number of rulings which seem to signal that the courts are trying to “slow down” the EEOC and other...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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