Friday, July 17, 2015

EEOC Holds That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Covered Under Title VII

In a July 15 decision (full text), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reversed and remanded the Federal Aviation Administration's rejection of an employment discrimination complaint by an FAA employee who claimed he was denied a promotion because he is gay.  In a precedent setting opinion, the EEOC held that:
allegations of discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex within the meaning of Title VII.
In reaching its conclusion, the EEOC drew analogies to cases in which courts have held that discrimination on the basis of an employee's association with persons of another race amounts to racial discrimination. It added that sexual orientation discrimination is necessarily based on gender stereotypes. The EEOC also rejected the argument that unsuccessful efforts to obtain passage of legislation in Congress explicitly adding sexual orientation to Title VII should lead it to reject the discrimination claim here. The Washington Blade and Dale Carpenter at Volokh Conspiracy have more on the decision.

Meanwhile the EEOC features a posting on its website titled What You Should Know About EEOC and the Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers