Who would have guessed that, in a state without a state administrative agency to accept discrimination charges, where only age discrimination is against state law, a federal judge would rule that sexual orientation is considered sex discrimination and, therefore, a violation of Title VII.
On Tuesday, voters in Houston, TX took to the polls and said no to Prop 1. That’s a ballot measure that would have outlawed discrimination at work against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and job applicants. Amanda Terkel at The Huffington Post reports here that, despite having widespread support from local and national politicians and businesses, the measure failed, in large part, because of the “bathroom” issue. That is, many voters did not want transgender women using the women’s restroom (and vice-versa).
Meanwhile, on Tuesday in our Nation’s Capital, the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights issued a “groundbreaking report” revealing a high rate of discrimination against transgender job applicants.
Mr. Gaff worked as a custodian at a University. He claimed that, on several occasions, his subordinate called him a “fa***t.” So, Mr. Gaff complained to his supervisor. Then, Mr. Gaff was later fired.
You’re right, Commissioner Feldblum. Social media is awesome!
Last Friday, I posted here about a recent federal-court decision addressing the sex discrimination claims of a transgender employee. What drew my attention to the case was this Facebook status update from EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, in which she touted the court’s decision as further support for the EEOC’s position that transgender discrimination is sex discrimination under Title VII. In my Friday post, I concluded that, while the court did allow the plaintiff’s sex discrimination claims to proceed to trial, it wasn’t because of her transgender status. Rather, the court reasoned that the employer may have engaged in unlawful sex stereotyping. Sex stereotyping definitely violates Title VII.
Back in April, the EEOC concluded that transgender discrimination is discrimination based on sex and, therefore, violates Title VII. That same month, a federal court denied another employer’s motion to dismiss the sex discrimination claims of a transgender employee. However, in denying the motion to dismiss, the court did not conclude that transgender discrimination is sex discrimination. Rather, it reaffirmed that Title VII prohibits sex stereotyping; i.e., when an employer takes action because an employee does not conform to the employer’s sex- or gender-based preferences, expectations, or stereotypes.
On Monday, I got into last week’s EEOC ruling that sexual-orientation discrimination is sex discrimination and, therefore, violates Title VII. Yesterday, I took up the First Amendment Defense Act, which has been described by the ACLU as “Indiana on Steroids.”