Category Archives: LGBTQ

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Seventh Circuit Rules Title VII Bars Sexual Orientation

On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit became the first federal appellate court in the country to extend the protections afford by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  The 8-3 decision came after they held a rare en banc hearing on Kimberly Hively’s case (Hively v. Ivy … Continue Reading

New EEOC Chair Says There Will be No “Major Changes” But – the DOJ Seems to be Calling a Truce in the Transgender Battle – What Direction Are We Heading?

Are we getting a mixed message from the new administration on priorities in the civil rights area? In her first public comments since her appointment as the new acting chair of the EEOC, Victoria Lipnic just last week (February 8) said that the agency will not be making major changes and “is committed to its … Continue Reading

Title VII and Sexual Orientation – Front and Center at the Second Circuit on Inauguration Day

As President-Elect Donald Trump moved into the White House on Inauguration Day last Friday, the excitement and political tensions were not confined to the nation’s capital.  LGBTQ rights supporters decorated with rainbow ties and socks filled the Second Circuit courtroom that morning to hear oral argument on a charged issue in Matthew Christiansen v. Omnicom … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Reverses Decision that Title VII Doesn’t Protect Against Anti-Gay Discrimination and Agrees to Re-hear Employment Discrimination Case

The Seventh Circuit reversed and vacated the panel decision holding that Title VII does not protect employees from anti-gay discrimination and will re-hear the case, Hively v. Tech Community College, en banc.  Kimberly Hively claims that her former employer, Ivy Tech Community College, violated Title VII when she was denied full-time employment and promotions and … Continue Reading

What the Seventh Circuit’s Recent Title VII Ruling Means for Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace

On July 28, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (“Seventh Circuit”) ruled that Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation discrimination.  See, Hively v. Ivy Tech Cmty. Coll., 2016 BL 244172, 7th Cir., No. 15-1720, 7/28/16.  The Seventh Circuit ruling is the first by a federal circuit to address … Continue Reading

A Conflicted 7th Circuit Holds Title VII Does Not Cover Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In a precedent-setting decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on July 28th that Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation discrimination.  The case is Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, No. 15‐1720 (7th Cir. July 28, 2016). The 7th Circuit upheld a district court’s decision to dismiss a … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Stays Fourth Circuit’s Ruling Affirming Transgender Students’ Bathroom Rights

The Supreme Court stayed a Fourth Circuit ruling that requires schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as. We are monitoring the case for its impact on employers going forward. For our past analysis on this issue, please refer to the following posts: Supreme Court Poised to Weigh … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Poised to Weigh in on Transgender Rights

In recent years, state and federal courts have consistently ruled in favor of those seeking to define their gender identity.  However, the Supreme Court has yet to weigh in — a situation that is about to change as the accelerating national discussion of transgender rights finally makes its way to the Supreme Court. In 2015, … Continue Reading

EEOC LGBT Cases in the News

Settlement of Sexual Orientation Case – The EEOC and a Maryland employer have settled a landmark sexual orientation discrimination case.  EEOC v. Pallet Companies d/b/a IFCO Systems NA, Inc. was filed in March 2016, and was among one of the earliest EEOC lawsuits against a private employer, alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  … Continue Reading

Transgender Rights In the News

Almost every day the news has some new legal development involving the rights of LGBT employees. We already reported on the litigation heating up between North Carolina and the DOJ concerning that state’s now infamous ‘bathroom law’, which the DOJ contends violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  The rulings which come out of that … Continue Reading

Webinar: What is on the EEOC’s Agenda? LGBT Rights in the Workplace

Please join Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment practice group for a special webinar presentation on May 25th that will explore the shifting, often controversial, and important landscape for employers regarding LGBT rights in the workplace. With the right to same-sex marriage established, the workplace has become the next civil rights frontier. The tide has clearly turned:  … Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Justice and North Carolina Face Off On Transgender Rights

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of North Carolina exchanged federal law suits concerning the legality of a recently enacted North Carolina law known as “H.B. 2”.  The law requires public agencies in North Carolina to restrict access to multiple occupancy bathrooms to individuals of the same “biological sex.” The law … Continue Reading

EEOC Acts Again on LGBT Rights

The EEOC has again taken the reins on LGBT rights by issuing some “Bathroom” guidance, giving employers a further strong indication of where the agency is leaning when it comes to enforcement of LGBT rights in the workplace. In the guidance, the EEOC makes clear again its position that Title VII prohibits discrimination against employees … Continue Reading

Kelley Drye Webinar Recap: Disability Laws & LGBT Rights in the Workplace

On April 19, Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment and Communications practice groups held the first in a series of joint webinars on labor issues affecting communications and technology companies. Barbara E. Hoey, partner and chair of Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, along with partner, Mark A. Konkel guided participants through current federal, state … Continue Reading

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Sets Precedent, Undermining Rationale For Anti-Transgender Legislation and Policies

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a 2-1 ruling in Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, No. 15-2056, finding that a transgender student has the right to sue his school board under Title IX for discrimination after they barred him from using the restroom matching his gender identity. Title IX … Continue Reading

Disability Laws and LGBT Rights in the Workplace

Kelley Drye’s Communications and Labor and Employment practice groups are hosting a webinar on labor issues affecting communications and technology companies on April 19, 2016 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST. Among the top priorities of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2016 “Strategic Plan” is enforcement of the alphabet soup of disability laws (the Americans with Disabilities … Continue Reading

EEOC Files First Suits Challenging Sexual Orientation Discrimination As Gender Bias

On March 1, the EEOC filed its first two lawsuits alleging that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates Title VII as a form of sex discrimination.   Those two cases, against Scott Medical Health Center on behalf of a gay male employee and against IFCO Systems on behalf of a lesbian employee, are the latest actions … Continue Reading

Company to Pay $115,000 to Settle Sex Discrimination Suit on Behalf of Transgender Employee

As predicted, the news in the Labor/Employment world continues to center on developments in the area of legal rights for transgender employees.  On January 21, the EEOC announced a $115,000 settlement of a complaint against a company which had been accused of discriminating against a transgender female employee.  According to the EEOC press release, the … Continue Reading

The EEOC continues to recognize sexual orientation discrimination as sex discrimination under Title VII

On January 6, 2016, the EEOC field an amicus brief in Barbara Burrows v. The College of Central Florida arguing, for the first time, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers against sexual orientation discrimination. The brief begins by acknowledging that the EEOC’s position has evolved over time citing its … Continue Reading

New York Employers – Looking Backward and Forward.

Last year was a ‘big year’ in New York in terms of new employment laws, and 2016 is shaping up to be just as big – as employers come into compliance with the many new laws, and brace for additional changes to come. Among the most significant new laws are the series of statutes signed … Continue Reading

IN FASHION: Kelley Drye Fashion and Retail Law Summit 2016

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues are at the forefront of new issues and challenges in the workplace and in employment law.  How should employers adapt?  Partners Barbara Hoey and Mark Konkel will explore the world of new issues, stumbling blocks for employers, and best practices to accommodate the ever more fluid boundaries of … Continue Reading
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