Bit of interesting news: http://www.npr.org/2016/03/23/471601947/federal-state-moves-aim-to-protect-lgbt-workers
The main points:
- Earlier this month, the EEOC filed several lawsuits alleging that companies had violated Title VII by disciminating against employees based on their sexual orientation.
- Title VII is the section of the Civil Rights law of 1964 that bans sex[i.e. gender]-based discrimination in the workplace.It has also been interpreted in courts as banning sexual harassment as well – on the grounds that sexually harassing employees or coworkers in inherently also a form of gender-based discrimination; it has also used to protect transgender and other gender-nonconforming employees on similar grounds.
- The EEOC (Employment Equal Opportunity Commission) is a government organization tasked with enforcing federal antidiscrimination laws like Title VII, by filing lawsuits against employers who violate them
- The EEOC has recently begun to argue that, under their interpretation, Title VII also bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, as discrimination based on sexual orientation is also inherently based on gender. (Title VII has previously not been interpreted as covering sexual orientation).
- However, while EEOC has set this out in their documentation, there haven’t been cases yet, so it is not yet an established legal precedent. (The EEOC has successfully prosecuted cases of transgender discrimination under title VII, but not any cases involving LGB discrimination)
- Therefore, if the courts agree with the EEOC’s reasoning in this case, it could set a legal precedent for LGBT workers in states that do not already have LGBT anti-discrimination protections.
This is a small step for a somewhat arcane legal argument, but it’s definitely an interesting story to follow.