Plaintiffs are now asking courts to determine whether employees may sue for discrimination based on sexual orientation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One such case is scheduled at a federal appeals court in New York and another may later be heard by the Supreme Court. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin or religion.
It is uncertain whether the Supreme Court will hear the case. Those close to the issue are hopeful, citing it is a national issue that affects people from every walk of life. Courts have historically rejected such challenges, but recently, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a woman’s claim to go forward.
The woman brought suit against a community college claiming that it violated Title VII when it denied her employment based on her sexual orientation. The judge, writing for the majority, stated that an employer’s job decision based on the fact that a complainant dresses differently, speaks differently or chooses to have a same-sex partner falls within Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination. Sexual discrimination claims encompass claims based on sexual orientation because those similarly situated are treated differently based on their sex.
Two more sexual orientation cases are slated to move forward soon. One case involves a security guard who claims she experienced sexual orientation discrimination is appealing her case to the Supreme Court after being ruled against in the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Another case involving a skydiving instructor will be brought by his survivors (he died before trial) in the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals. In that case, the skydiving instructor disclosed his sexuality to one of his students. The student’s boyfriend called the skydiving company to complain about the instructor’s behavior and the instructor was subsequently fired. The instructor claims he was fired due to his sexuality and filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging violation of Title VII.
The EEOC supports the skydiving instructor while the Department of Justice (DOJ) is on the other side. The DOJ espouses the view that Congress did not intend for Title VII to extend to claims of sexual orientation. While the DOJ notes societal and cultural attitude changes about discrimination, they say that these changes do not justify claims based on sexual orientation. However, a lawyer for the skydiving instructor’s estate claims that those who discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily consider the sex of the employee.
Middletown Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent LGBT Victims of Discrimination
If you believe you have experienced workplace discrimination, contact an experienced Middletown employment discrimination lawyer at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.. We advocate for the rights of the LGBT community and will aggressively fight for justice and the compensation to which you are entitled. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including those in Middletown, Red Bank, Cherry Hill and Marlton.