In a question that has divided the nations lower courts, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to rule on whether Title VII of the civil rights act prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace also extends protection to discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Federal law forbids employment discrimination on the basis of race, color religion, national origin and sex but there has always been a gray area when it comes to protecting the rights of LGBT individuals.
Workplace Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
For decades every federal appeals court that considered the question of whether gay employees are entitled to nondiscrimination protection ruled against them. However, in a number of recent cases some courts have ruled that employees can sue for sex discrimination based on sexual orientation while others have maintained that they cannot.
For example, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled sexual orientation discrimination is a subset of sex discrimination in a case where an employee was fired after admitting he was gay. The 6th court of appeals said that transgender discrimination is prohibited by Title VII after ruling that an employee was wrongfully fired after admitting she was transgender. However, in a 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision the Court said that civil rights law does not cover sexual orientation discrimination.
Not surprisingly, the vastly different rulings have made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court and, the fact that the court has agreed to take the case, is seen as a potentially historic turning point for LGBT Americans who are sometimes subject to employment discrimination based on their sexual orientation.
If you have been discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, such as sexual harassment, or if you have been retaliated against for reporting a problem at work, contact Des Moines LGBT civil rights sex discrimination lawyer Marc Humphrey for immediate assistance today at 515-331-3510.