Actually, I’m not talking about the drink.
No, the case I’m addressing today has actual sex on the beach. And allegations of sexual harassment and disparate treatment.
It involves an outside sales representative — let’s call her “Plaintiff” — and the son of the company President, during a boat trip in Mallorca, Spain.
Hey, if you ever want to hear some good stories at a lawyer cocktail party, seek out the employment folks. Just sayin’.
In 2001, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided Bibby v. Philadelphia Coca Cola Bottling Co. In Bibby, the Third Circuit could not have been clearer about whether federal anti-discrimination law made LGBT bias at work unlawful.
“Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation that would have extended Title VII to cover sexual orientation.”
That’s binding precedent on all lower federal courts in Pennsylvania.
Except, on Friday, Judge Cathy Bissoon from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania concluded EEOC v. Scott Medical (opinion here) that Bibby is questionable, outdated jurisprudence.
At halftime of my seven-year-old’s soccer game, I was perusing my slow weekend RSS feed. Of the seven Feedly items, one stood out: a “news” from Deadspin (NSFW) about a fan who hit the five yard line with a phallus toss (video is NSFW) during the third quarter of the National Football League between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. Here’s another angle. (Still NSFW).
And, it got me thinking…
This could make for a good HR compliance lesson. Trust me.
As a corollary to yesterday’s post about David Lopez stepping down as EEOC General Counsel —
*** Googles “corollary” — swish! ***
— I bring you news of two recent court decisions advancing LGBT rights at work.
I teased it in Friday’s post.
Last week, a Michigan federal court held (here) that a workplace dress code that requires one gender to conform to a sex stereotype (e.g., men must wear suits, and women must wear dresses) is “direct evidence” of sex discrimination. But, the employer in the Michigan case refused to waver from the letter of the dress code, and avoided a sex discrimination claim under Title VII.
Why? Because Hobby Lobby.
Just for today, head on over to LinkedIn, and check out my post about how strict application of your dress code could result in a nasty sex discrimination claim.
(And a little teaser for Monday — I’ll explain why the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision may trump Title VII and allow some employers to discriminate).
The lede comes directly from last Thursday’s much anticipated decision, in which the Seventh Circuit concluded in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College (opinion here) that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal workplace anti-discrimination statute, does not protect workers from discrimination based on LGBT status.