Wednesday, March 02, 2016
EEOC Files 2 Suits Alleging Title VII Already Covers Sexual Orientation Discrimination
The EEOC announced yesterday that it has filed its first two suits in federal court testing its theory that existing laws barring discrimination on the basis of sex cover discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In an administrative decision under Title VII handed down in July, the EEOC held that "Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is premised on sex-based preferences, assumptions, expectations, stereotypes, or norms." (See prior posting.) Yesterday's suits build on that. In EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, P.C., (WD PA, filed 3/1/2016), the complaint (full text) alleges that a gay male employee's manager repeatedly directed anti-gay epithets at him, as well as other highly offensive comments about his sexuality and sex life. In the other suit, EEOC v. Pallet Companies, (D MD, filed 3/1/2016), the complaint (full text) alleges that a lesbian employee was harassed by her supervisor with comments about her sexual orientation and appearance, and was fired in retaliation for complaining. BuzzFeed reports on the lawsuits.