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Category Archives: Sexual Orientation

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You decide: Why the DOJ says Title VII does NOT prohibit sexual orientation bias

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Sexual Orientation
Last week, I had a short post about the position taken by the U.S. Department of Justice in the Zarda v. Altitude Express “gay skydiver” case. The DOJ has directly opposed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which had also filed a brief in the case. The EEOC says that sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited by Title VII.… Continue Reading

Battle of the feds! DOJ, EEOC lock horns on sexual orientation bias

Posted in Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
Whoa. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are at cross purposes in the “gay skydiver” case. Are they ever. Do you remember Zarda v. Altitude Express? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently signaled that it might overrule its precedent holding that Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination… Continue Reading

Gender identity not covered by Missouri Human Rights Act, court says

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
Last week, the Missouri Court of Appeals issued an opinion holding that gender identity is not covered by the prohibition on sex discrimination in the Missouri Human Rights Act. The opinion builds on a 2015 opinion from the same court, which held that sexual orientation was not covered under the MHRA. Last week’s opinion arose from… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Full Second Circuit to reconsider whether Title VII prohibits sexual orientation bias

Posted in Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) agreed yesterday to rehear en banc an appeal from the estate of a gay skydiving instructor who alleged he was fired after a customer complained about his sexual orientation. The case is Zarda v. Altitude Express. The issue to be decided by… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Discrimination, HR, Immigration, Sexual Orientation
Attention, H-1B employers! The Trump Administration announced this week that it would take a closer look at employers who use workers with H-1B visas. Elizabeth Joiner has the details in this Immigration Dispatch. Sexual orientation discrimination does violate Title VII, appeals court says. This week’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit… Continue Reading

The Deep Dive: A closer look at the Seventh Circuit’s sexual orientation decision

Posted in Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
As we reported early this morning, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana that the prohibition in Title VII against discrimination based on “sex” encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is the first federal appellate court to do so, although recent… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Title VII bans sexual orientation bias, court finds

Posted in Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled yesterday that sexual orientation discrimination is indeed prohibited “sex discrimination” within the meaning of Title VII. The decision was issued in the case of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit had found last year that… Continue Reading

“Free to Be . . . You and Me”: The 11th Circuit’s strange LGBT decision

Posted in Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
This latest decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on sexual orientation discrimination is weird. A panel of the court found 2-1 in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital that the plaintiff did not have a valid Title VII claim against her employer for sexual orientation discrimination. Whether you agree with it or not,… Continue Reading

Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Rule is on the chopping block

Posted in Affirmative Action, Elections, Gender Identity Discrimination, Politics, Sexual Orientation
In good news for federal contractors, Congress has taken its first step toward permanently blocking implementation of the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Rule, also known as the contractor “Blacklisting” Rule.  As we have discussed previously, the Rule (which includes regulations and guidance implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13673) requires federal contractors bidding on contracts worth… Continue Reading

Daily Trumpdate: Must-see TV, LGBT protections here to stay, ICE to harden?, best way to less regulation

Posted in Elections, Gender Identity Discrimination, Immigration, Politics, Sexual Orientation
Must-see TV! President Trump said last night that he would be announcing at 8 p.m. EST tonight his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy that was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. You have to hand it to the President for scheduling the announcement for prime time, when everyone can watch. Although I think… Continue Reading

Workplace harassment: EEOC’s employer best practices

Posted in Elections, Harassment, Politics, Sexual Orientation
How can an employer best prevent workplace harassment from occurring, and deal with it effectively when it occurs? What would the EEOC say employers should do? This is my third and final installment on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment, which was recently issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC is accepting comments until February… Continue Reading

President Obama’s labor and employment legacy

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Elections, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, HR, Labor Relations, Politics, Protected Concerted Activity, Same-sex marriage, Sexual Orientation, Social media, Wage-Hour
NOTE FROM ROBIN: A portion of Jill’s remarks below appeared Tuesday morning in Law360 (paid subscription required). Notwithstanding what might happen over the next four (or eight) years, there is no question that President Barack Obama has left his mark on labor and employment law in some very important ways. Even if President-Elect Trump’s administration… Continue Reading

Nitpicking the EEOC’s proposed guidance on harassment

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
This week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposed Enforcement Guidance on workplace harassment. It’s 75 pages long, so a little too much to cover in a single blog post. The EEOC is seeking comments from the public until February 9, so I will start with the comment-worthy provisions. Next week, I’ll post about… Continue Reading

Employment and labor law developments (and a few other things) I’m thankful for

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Elections, FOCUS, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Public Sector Employment, Settlements, Sexual Orientation
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. Department of Labor’s new rule governing white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act was struck… Continue Reading

Oh, wait a minute — sexual orientation bias DOES violate Title VII?

Posted in Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
Feeling whipsawed? Last summer, I reported on the Hively v. Ivy Tech decision, in which a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not “sex discrimination” or unlawful sex stereotyping that violates Title VII. That decision has since been vacated, and the case will… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Affirmative Action, Class actions, ConstangyTV, Elections, Equal Pay, FOCUS, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Protected Concerted Activity, Safety, Sexual Orientation, Wage-Hour, Work-Life Balance
Effect of Election 2016 on labor and employment law. We asked our practice group heads and some thought leaders to tell us how they think employers will be affected by a Trump Administration on specific labor and employment law issues. This client bulletin is packed with prognostication about what we may see in the areas of affirmative action and… Continue Reading

“It’s going to be beautiful, believe me”: Trump on labor & employment law issues

Posted in Discrimination, Elections, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation, Uncategorized, Wage-Hour
Congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, and to everyone who was elected or reelected to office yesterday. With a President Trump and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, employers may see some changes in the form of less aggressive regulatory agencies, a National Labor Relations Board that is more employer-friendly, and some relatively conservative… Continue Reading

ConstangyTV is on the air!

Posted in Affirmative Action, Constangy News, ConstangyTV, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation
I am delighted to announce the launch of ConstangyTV’s Close-Up on Workplace Law, a new video series on labor and employment law issues. We’ll be offering these videos on a monthly basis, in addition to our newsletters and blog posts. Our debut is about the evolving definition of sex discrimination under federal law. Host Leigh Tyson, a… Continue Reading

Court sets aside Title VII sexual orientation decision, agrees to rehear

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has vacated Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, which found that Title VII did not protect against sexual orientation discrimination. I wrote about the decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit, in August. The court will rehear the case with all of the… Continue Reading

EEOC Small Business Resource Center: Two thumbs up!

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Harassment, Pregnancy, Product Review, Retaliation, Sexual Orientation
I spent some time yesterday at the new Small Business Resource Center, which went live this week on the website of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I think it’s great. Small businesses, which may be just below or at the cusp of coverage by federal anti-discrimination laws, are often confused about (1) whether they are covered, and (2)… Continue Reading

Hillary, or The Donald: A voting guide for employers

Posted in Benefits, Class actions, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Family and Medical Leave Act, Independent Contractor, Labor Relations, Lactation, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation, Wage-Hour
As our regular readers know, Employment & Labor Insider is a non-partisan blog. But with the first Presidential debate coming on Monday night, I thought it would be helpful to look at the two major presidential candidates and their positions on issues of interest to employers. The following comes from each of the candidates’ websites, supplemented… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
*The Summer 2016 edition of Preventive Medicine, our health care industry publication, is out, featuring an article by Susan Bassford Wilson on the ever-changing law on LGBT discrimination. We also have the EEOC’s latest LGBT charge-filing statistics, and all the latest employment law news of interest to health care employers since our Spring 2016 edition.… Continue Reading

Notes from the Industry Liaison Group National Conference

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
The 2016 Industry Liaison Group National Conference was held last week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sylvia Smith, an Affirmative Action Specialist from our firm’s Atlanta Office, and I had the pleasure and privilege of attending and presenting this year. The headliners, as usual, were Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and… Continue Reading