Historic Case: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII 10:17, April 13, 2017

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Category: sexual harassment

True to signals at oral argument that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ position on sexual orientation discrimination was due for an imminent overhaul, a full court panel of that circuit has ruled that Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. This, despite contrary conclusions by three-panel opinions of the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts of […]

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On March 27, 2017, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII cannot protect a gay employee from sexual orientation discrimination; however, Title VII may protect the employee from sex-based stereotyping under the same set of facts. In a separate case about two weeks before that, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reached […]

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A district court found itself trying to calculate the number of times a county sheriff hugged a subordinate, so that it could determine whether to allow the subordinate to proceed with her sexual harassment claim that she was subject to a sexually hostile work environment. Victoria Zetwick was a county correctional officer who claimed that […]

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Office romances have increased, according to a recent survey. For many organizational leaders, this prompts a quandary. How should your organization’s policy address amour in the workplace in a fair and inclusive manner? Although there are many questions employers should consider when building or reviewing workplace romance (a.k.a., non-fraternization) policies, this article will focus on […]

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During a rare rehearing of the sexual orientation discrimination case Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College before a full-court panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Posner reportedly asked the lawyer defending a college’s decision to deny full-time employment to a lesbian employee: “Who will be hurt if gays and lesbians have a […]

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A federal district court judge in Pennsylvania wasn’t impressed by a manufacturer’s claims that it was a “blue collar workplace” and that in such environments, where foul language or joking among coworkers is common, it’s hard for an employee to prove that her work environment was hostile. “That a particular workplace is considered ‘blue collar’—whatever that is […]

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The simple answer to the question proposed by the title of this article is, of course, “whenever the employee is treated poorly or denied opportunities at work because of sex stereotyping.” While this answer is true, it doesn’t tell us a lot about what sex stereotyping is, and what kind of behavior employers must avoid […]

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This year Ontario strengthened its position on workplace sexual harassment by passing Ontario Bill 132. Known as the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), Bill 132 increased employer obligations to ensure Ontario workers work “without the threat and experience of sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and […]

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A new sexual harassment training mandate is now effective in California. Signed on September 29, 2016, AB 1661 mandates local agencies to train officers and elected officials in sexual harassment prevention. Local agencies are any “city, county, city and county, charter city, charter county, charter city and county, or special district” in California. AB 1661 requires […]

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An employer found out that it could be liable for retaliation because it acted negligently when it fired an employee solely on the basis of the accusations of a biased coworker who had been accused of sexual harassment. Andrea Vasquez was an emergency medical technician (EMT) on an ambulance crew for Empress Ambulance Service, Inc. […]

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