Thursday, August 10, 2017

Does Title VII Cover Sexual Orientation? Courts Weigh In. EEOC says Yes. Trump DOJ says No.

Takeaway: Splits in the federal Courts of Appeals may send this issue to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, however, the EEOC is basing its enforcement actions on its position that Title VII covers sexual orientation as a form of sex discrimination. It has filed a number of amicus briefs in support of plaintiffs who have asserted sexual ­orientation discrimination claims under Title VII. Employers also need to follow their state and local laws. For example, Maryland and the District of Columbia ban sexual orientation discrimination. Virginia does not, but both the City of Alexandria and Arlington County do. This pattern is repeated across the country. For now, employers should retain their policies on sexual orientation discrimination, include them in any EEO training and continue to investigate allegations of such discrimination.