In an important victory against employment discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has determined that anti-gay discrimination in the workplace constitutes a form of sex discrimination. In a recently published opinion, the EEOC concluded, in a 3-2 vote, that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbids sexual orientation discrimination on the job because it is a form of “sex” discrimination. Title VII explicitly prohibits sex discrimination. Three years ago, the EEOC also determined that gender identity discrimination falls into the category of prohibited sex discrimination. Since then, federal courts have generally adopted the EEOC’s findings.
However, courts have had mixed views on whether discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited by Title VII. The EEOC has referred to these decisions as dated and asserts that the concept of sex discrimination has evolved and is broad enough to encompass sexual orientation discrimination. While the EEOC’s views are considered persuasive, they are not binding authority on the courts.
As Atlanta anti-employment discrimination lawyers, we are hopeful that this ruling will be adopted by the courts and provide full protection for gay men and lesbians from job discrimination throughout the United States.
For more information or if you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of employment discrimination, please contact the experienced Atlanta employment sex discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, LLC.