Ruling Affirms Civil Rights Laws Protect Employees from Discrimination Based on…

06 April, 2017, 02:24 | Author: Michele Stevens
  • Appeals court: Civil Rights Act protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees

Previously, courts have ruled that these protections against sex discrimination don't include discrimination against LGTBQ people. By a solid 8-3 majority, the 7th Circuit concluded on Tuesday that discrimination based on sexual orientation is indeed a form of sex discrimination prohibited under Title VII.

The Seventh Circuit did just that on Tuesday in Kimberly Hively's case alleging discrimination against Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

Hively said the school discriminated against her because she is a lesbian. It was the first federal appellate court to reach that conclusion, and it did so despite Congress' failure to amend the statute to specifically cover gay workers.

While possible that the Supreme Court or Congress will step in and reverse this trend, as a recent court stated, "it seems unlikely that our society can continue to condone a legal structure in which employees can be fired, harassed, demeaned, singled out for undesirable tasks, paid lower wages, demoted, passed over for promotions, and otherwise discriminated against exclusively based on who they date, love, or marry". Vox called it "the biggest pro-gay rights legal decision since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality".

Greg Nivens, employment fairness program director for Lambda Legal, noted, "In many cities and states across the country, lesbian and gay workers are being fired because of who they love".

The ruling "sends a clear message to employers: It is against the law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation", Gregory Nevins told the Columbus, Indiana, Republic. Suddenly, the case became one of the most significant employment law decisions on the docket in 2017, potentially reshaping the legal standard around what some consider to be a paradoxical Title VII issue.

Hively originally sued Ivy Tech in 2014 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Still, the Supreme Court held Title VII covers this kind of harassment in a string of decisions beginning with Meritor Sav.

But in its April 4 decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of in, the full 7th Circuit court ruled that sexual orientation was covered by the federal civil rights law, making it the first federal appeals court to so rule. This means that someone can be fired from a job, evicted from a home, or kicked out of a business just because an employer, landlord, or business owner doesn't approve of the person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Flood Watch issued for WNY
Clouds will begin drifting in ahead of a cold front Tuesday night and Wednesday should be cooler with scattered showers. With recent warm weather and the high April sun angle, it will be hard to get the snow to stick too much on area roads.

Employers in IL and Wisconsin are already subject to state laws protecting private workers based on sexual orientation, so yesterday's decision should simply reaffirm their commitment to ensuring fairness and equality for these employees. This is what the Civil Rights Act and other federal and state civil rights laws that followed were about.

Indeed, if the decision is allowed to stand, it would essentially add LGBTQ protections to existing laws.

Civil rights advocates claim, however, that federal law should already shield LGBTQ people from discrimination, because, they say, bans on sex discrimination also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. "Our panel described the line between a gender nonconformity claim and one based on sexual orientation as gossamer-thin; we conclude that it does not exist at all". Similarly, if someone discriminates against a trans woman, that's largely based on the expectation that a person designated male at birth should identify as a man - again, a belief built on the idea of what a person of a certain sex assigned at birth should be like.

Adams of the Williams Institute agrees that while the 7th Circuit decision is limited to Title VII, "courts often look to Title VII jurisprudence when interpreting other sex discrimination prohibitions, such as Title IX". Now through this case and others, that principle is backed up by the courts.

However, over the years, plaintiffs have sought a much broader interpretation of what should be covered as sex discrimination.

The appeals court remanded the case back to district court.

Even if these appeals court decisions do not immediately materialize, there are two other avenues whereby employers could still face immediate liability for such claims.

"I think most judges, and certainly the 7 circuit judges, all of them agreed at that moment Congress probably didn't anticipate that it would be interpreted to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation", Widiss says. That's because federal civil rights laws don't ban sex discrimination in public accommodations. The battle over LGBTQ rights in the workplace stays in the deeply divided lower courts ― for now. Nearly half of the states in the country have laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in employment (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin), and some additional states protect state workers from such discrimination (Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia).

Recommended:

  • Midlands counties under flood watch ahead of severe weather

    Major universities including Alabama and Auburn also are closed, and many churches have called off Wednesday night activities. In addition, the University of Alabama has canceled classes on Wednesday and will cease normal operations at 3 a.m.

    Liverpool forward Mane could miss rest of season

    LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp is planning to build from the back in order to deny Cherries "confidence". "Our way is not the easy way - that's maybe the club's history - and that's no problem".
    Apple to release new iMac this year, Mac Pro in 2018

    Apple to release new iMac this year, Mac Pro in 2018

    We're not going to get into exactly what stage we're in, just that we told the team to take the time to do something really great. The $3999 model goes from 6 CPU cores to 8, and from dual D500 GPUs to dual D800 GPUs. "We have big plans for the iMac", he said.
  • Facebook loses search warrant challenge in NY court

    Facebook loses search warrant challenge in NY court

    Facebook sought to quash the warrants, calling them too broad and objecting to a prohibition against informing its users about them.
    Invader Zim is making a comeback

    Invader Zim is making a comeback

    Nickelodeon is reviving the cult-hit animated series, Invader Zim , as a new TV movie. It was nominated for six Annie Awards in total and a Golden Reel Award.
    Former South Korean president arrested, jailed

    Former South Korean president arrested, jailed

    Shortly, after the court issued a warrant against Park, she was taken to the Seoul Detention Centre in the outskirts of Seoul . Company executives said they felt forced to donate for fear of retaliatory measures including state tax investigations.
  • Plays in Garbage Time have some in NBA getting trashed

    Plays in Garbage Time have some in NBA getting trashed

    Stephenson would later apologize, but the Raptors did not sound particularly appeased. "I didn't mean no harm, " he said. Even Pacers coach Nate McMillan acknowledged Stephenson violated usual National Basketball Association etiquette.
    Messi back for Barcelona; Real Madrid take on Leganes

    Messi back for Barcelona; Real Madrid take on Leganes

    The Spanish side enters the match now enduring its worst moment of the season, winless in their last five matches. They are now fourth in the table and 10 points behind leaders Madrid , who have played a game more.
    Beyonce Shares Tribute To Jay-Z On Couple's 9 Year Anniversary

    Beyonce Shares Tribute To Jay-Z On Couple's 9 Year Anniversary

    The never-before-seen picture shows Bey in her wedding gown, designed by her mom, and Jay smiling in his wedding day tuxedo, turning towards their wedding guests.
  • TASER changes name to Axon, offers free cameras to all police officers

    TASER changes name to Axon, offers free cameras to all police officers

    TASER will remain one of our flagship products, but now as a single focused product brand for our suite of Smart Weapons. More than 180,000 lives and countless dollars have been saved with Axon's network of devices, apps and people.
    McDonald's: Please bring back Szechuan sauce for Rick And Morty fans

    McDonald's: Please bring back Szechuan sauce for Rick And Morty fans

    If Szechaun was to return, the timing would be ideal with a live-action remake of " Mulan " due to be released in November 2018. I'm not driven by avenging my dead family. "I'll see what I can do", chef Mike Haracz said on Twitter .
    Ford and GM slide after reporting weak March sales

    Ford and GM slide after reporting weak March sales

    In terms of Buy/Sell recommendations, analysts have a consensus rating of 2.67 on the shares of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). Auto retailer AutoNation shed 1.45 dollars, or 3.1%, to 40.84 dollars and Goodyear Tire slid 73 cents, or 2%, to 35.28 dollars.


Popular

Chelsea Clinton is in no hurry to get into politics
"Am I the right person for a given job?' Whether it's for a school board or a senator". No, Chelsea, we don't all need to ask ourselves that question - particularly you.

SC wins first national title, beats Mississippi State 67-55
Then stout defense for the Bulldogs and a triple from Roshunda Johnson would allow Mississippi State to take an early 10-5 lead. Many of those same fans will show up at American Airlines Center this afternoon in search of that elusive championship.

South Korean women arrive in North Korea for football match
Trump indicted that trade could serve as an incentive for China to work with the US on North Korea. Trump's comments on trade and other issues "portend some hard bargaining", Dreyer said.

Samsung Galaxy S8 launcher leaked
If users decide to make use of the homescreen only option for their app icons, they can also add homescreens for their widgets. At its release event, the company said, "This is the new era of smartphone design, an era without edges or limits".

Equal Pay Day: Don't Celebrate, Organize!
Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date when women's wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. It's a fight continuing more than a half century after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963.