Articles Posted in LGBT discrimination

Under the direction of new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice has filed papers in court arguing federal civil rights law doesn’t provide civil rights protections against discrimination for employees on the basis of sexual orientation. This is in stark contrast to the directives of President Barack Obama’s administration. employment discrimination

The move was an unusual one, wherein the department asserted its authority in a federal case pending in New York. It involves a basically private dispute between a worker in New York and his employer over the issue of gay rights and LGBTQ discrimination.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, the Justice Department wrote that the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, national origin, race and color, does not, as a matter of law, protect those based on sexual orientation. The DOJ wrote that this is an issue that has “been settled for decades,” and that any effort to amend or alter the scope of Title VII needs to be directed to members of Congress, rather than the courts.  Continue reading

California has long been a pioneer of gender rights in the workplace. Since 2011, gender expression and gender identity have been protected classes under California’s anti-discrimination law.  And on July 1, 2017, new employment protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming employees took effect in California. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing now enforces regulations which expand protections for gender identity and gender expression in the workplace. According to The National Law Review, the following provisions are now effective:

Employment discrimination lawyers

  • Gender identity has been expanded to include those employees who are transitioning. Activities during the transition phase are protected, such as: changes in name or pronoun usage; use of bathroom facilities; and medical procedures associated with a transition (such as hormone therapy or surgeries). Employers may not discriminate against transitioning employees for engaging in any of these activities, or other actions related to the transition.
  • Employers may not inquire about, or request documentation about, an employee’s gender, gender expression, or gender identity. Employers can also not request that employees provide such information unless it is on a voluntary basis for record keeping purposes.
  • Single-occupancy bathroom facilities under an employer’s control must be labeled with gender neutral terms (such as “unisex”, “gender neutral”, or “all gender restroom”). Employees must be allowed to use the facilities which correspond to their gender identity, not the gender assigned to them at birth.
  • Employees must be allowed to carry out job duties which correspond with their gender expression or gender identity – not the gender assigned to them at birth.

The Press-Enterprise also notes that employers cannot impose any standards of grooming, dress, or appearance which are inconsistent with an employee’s gender identity.  

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According to a recent news article from Society for Human Resource Management, an employee in California has filed a lawsuit against his former employer claiming he was fired for being “too gay.”  He was working in executive management for the company prior to being terminated, according to his complaint.

Employment LawyerIn his complaint, employee claimed his was openly gay when he was hired in 1997.  He worked for the company for 10 years in various management jobs. In 2007, he was given a new job as the manager for diversity and inclusion.  This was not only a new job for him, but a newly created position within the company. Continue reading

In recent months, there has been a lot of worrying among the LGBTQ community about whether they would lose significant rights in the workplace as present Donald J. Trump works to undue the protections given to LGBTQ workers under the previous administration.  Even though Mr. Trump had vowed to leave those protections in place while he was on the campaign trail, he appears to be rolling them back via executive order.

LGBT Discrimination However, according to a recent news article from the New York Times, gay rights advocates have just scored a major victory as the federal appeals court in Chicago ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does extend its protections to the gay community.  This means that they cannot be harassed based upon sexual orientation, and if they are, it will be considered a violation of federal law. Continue reading

Over the last four years, the number of gender-based discrimination charges filed by individuals for violation of LGBT rights has increased substantially. That’s according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which just released a new report on the issue. holding hands

The data shows that in fiscal year 2016, the EEOC received nearly 1,770 claims of discrimination from LGBT persons, and resolved nearly 1,650 – which are record high numbers in both categories.

Those figures are part of a larger year-end litigation and enforcement data release from last year. Herein, the agency breaks down all the different types of claims it receives and how those claims were resolved. The agency received more than 91,500 charges of workplace discrimination last year – which is the second annual increase in the number of charges. A total of 97,443 claims were resolved (some of those had been filed prior to fiscal year 2016), and a total of $482 million collected for victims of workplace discrimination in both the private and government sectors.  Continue reading

A teacher who is gay has filed an employment lawsuit against his former employer, a Roman Catholic high school, which he alleges terminated his employment because he announced his wedding to another man.professional

The LGBT employment discrimination lawsuit alleges the Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina ran afoul of federal employment law in firing him from his substitute teaching position three years ago, following his revelation of his wedding to another man in a Facebook post. The statute doesn’t reference any state law, but it does come amid a bigger fight over a law in that state that limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

According to the Associated Press, plaintiff taught full-time English and drama at the school for more than 10 years and even earned the “Teacher of the Year” title back in 2012. Afterward, he transitioned into a less demanding role as a regular substitute teacher, and usually worked more than 12 weeks in a year. Then, in the fall of 2014, he posted details of his upcoming wedding to another man. Several weeks later, seemingly without warning, he was informed by the school’s assistant principal that he was no longer welcome back to continue teaching.  Continue reading

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently heard arguments in the LGBT discrimination case of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, a case that could have profound implications for the future of gay rights as it may well end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. holdhands

It’s actually the second time the 7th Circuit has weighed Hively. It previously issued a judgment in favor of the defense, but agreed to reconsider its findings after closer consideration.

The key question is whether the worker, Hively, is protected by Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and can take action against a company that refused her advancement at work the basis of her sexual orientation as a lesbian. As it now stands, federal workplace laws do not protect people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, though some state-level laws do. California prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender in the realms of employment, housing and public accommodations.  Continue reading

A former employee of President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s golf club in New Jersey is suing the mogul and his company for what he calls “extreme” LGBT harassment and discrimination. golfing

According to The Advocate, plaintiff worked in maintenance at New Jersey’s Trump National Golf Club two years ago. There he alleges his co-workers frequently used highly-offensive, anti-gay slurs against him in both English and Spanish. One of his fellow workers allegedly threw a rock at his head, which resulted in his needing treatment at a local hospital.

The lawsuit was filed in state court specifically alleges sexual orientation harassment, discrimination based on his sexual orientation, hostile work environment and unlawful retaliation. He also filed claims for assault and battery. He asserts his immediate supervisor directly observed his mistreatment, and yet did nothing to intervene. After the rock-throwing incident, plaintiff filed a formal complaint with his managers. At that time, his supervisor assured him the issue would be “dealt with.” However, when plaintiff went back to the manager to get further information for a police report he planned to file against his attacker, the manager refused to cooperate. Plaintiff then informed the manger he did not feel physically safe going to work after he was attacked by a co-worker, at which point he was promptly fired.  Continue reading

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has found that sexual orientation is not a protected class under Title VII, which means it’s now in the hands of Congress to take action to change existing law if LGBTQ employees are going to be allowed the right to sue. The other alternative would be for the U.S. Supreme Court to take on this case or one similar and decide differently. sadness

In the Indian case of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, the court noted that this was not the first time it had been asked to consider whether Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shields workers and provides an avenue for dispute resolution (usually stemming from claims of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community). However, the court noted that in this case, the court was deciding the matter “in the shadow of criticism from the EEOC,” which alleged the 7th Circuit and others have continued to reflexively declare sexual orientation is not protected under Title VII/

The court noted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had questioned the court’s acceptance of cases born of gender non-conformity discrimination, even as it rejected sexual orientation discrimination cases. Even in the face of this criticism, however, the federal appeals court held once again that because the claim was solely for discrimination based on sexual orientation, it was beyond the scope of the statute.  Continue reading

These days we have been hearing a lot about which bathroom a transgender individual is allowed to use.  While this has not been a major issue for decades, especially in places like Los Angeles, a recent attempt in North Carolina to ban transgendered individuals from using the bathroom of their choosing through what has become known as a “bathroom bill” is what brought this issue back into spotlight.

rainbow-flag-1144037Specifically, the state governor passed what is officially called the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.  The act claims to be for the purpose of creating statewide consistency in bathrooms by making them all single-sex occupancy.  Essentially, it claims it will be safer and more consistent if a person uses the restroom that is for the gender to which they were assigned at birth as opposed to the gender to which they currently identify if they are transgender.  It is obviously why many people see this as an anti-transgender bill, and many think it violates the civil liberties protected by the constitution.  Continue reading