Articles Tagged with LGBT discrimination

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 ›

Although sexual identity is not explicitly protected on the federal level for public employees, California law does provide protection, as do some local-level policies. walkingaway

LGBT employees have the right to enjoy a harassment-free, discrimination-free work environment.

In the recent case of Flood v. Bank of Am. Corp., before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, an employee asserted she received disparate treatment because of her bisexuality. She stopped reporting to work for this reason, and was subsequently fired. She sued under a state human rights law (this occurred in Maine), and the bank was granted summary judgment by the district court. However, the federal appeals court reversed on the portions of her claim pertaining to hostile work environment and wrongful termination, finding a reasonable jury could find the bank’s reason for firing the worker was pretextual and was actually due to her bisexuality. That means the plaintiff now gets a crack at a trial.

A federal push to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees is quickly gaining steam among lawmakers, with all but two Democrats in the Senate signing on to co-sponsor the legislation. twobusinessmen

Our Costa Mesa LBGT discrimination attorneys know that in California, it is illegal to discriminate a worker or potential worker on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. We are fortunate to have one of the most comprehensive protection laws in the country.

However, while federal employment law protects workers from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, disability or nationality, it does not shield workers who face adverse employment action as a result of their LGBT status. This is a gaping hole in terms of worker protections, and one that legislators appear finally poised to close.

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