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Total Articles: 3

Second Circuit Upholds Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim Under Title VII, Primes Debate for Supreme Court

On February 26, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rendered an en banc decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express that significantly expands employees’ rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Ten judges joined at least in part in the majority decision and held that sex discrimination under Title VII encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation. Three judges dissented and would not have extended Title VII protection to sexual orientation. This decision came 11 months after the Eleventh Circuit declined to recognize sexual orientation as a protected category under Title VII in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital and 10 months after the Seventh Circuit disagreed, holding that sexual orientation is covered by Title VII, in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College.

As The Economy Struggles, EEOC Charges Increase

The cataclysmic effects of the longest and deepest recession since the 1929 depression will significantly change many aspects of our society for generations. The devastating impact of the recession on large segments of the workforce can be counted as one of the more significant effects. While it remains to be seen how the recession will change the psyche of this generation over the long term, one objective measure showing one aspect of the change is the large increase in EEOC charges as the economy nose dived.

4th Circuit - Retaliatory Discharge Claim May Not Have to Be Specified in EEOC Charge.

Before an individual may file a lawsuit under Title VII or the ADEA, he or she is required to file (or cross-file) a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The charge is legally sufficient only if it describes with particularity the parties and the actions or practices of which the individual is complaining. The scope of a plaintiff’s right to file a federal lawsuit is determined by the contents of that charge; that is, the lawsuit must be based upon the claims described in the charge, or reasonably related to those described in the charge. Typically, a claim submitted to federal court will be dismissed if the EEOC charge alleges one basis of discrimination, and the formal litigation alleges another, unrelated basis.