- Second Circuit Rules Gay Workers Protected Under Civil Rights Act
- March 5, 2018 | Authors: Eve B. Masinter; Jerry L. Stovall; Rachael M. Coe; Jacob E. Roussel; Murphy J. Foster; John T. Andrishok; Leo C. Hamilton; E. Fredrick Preis; Rachael Jeanfreau; Melissa M. Shirley; Steven B. Loeb; Sunny Mayhall West
- Law Firms: Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office; Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
On February 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that employers may not discriminate against workers based on their sexual orientation. The ruling ignored the Justice Department's argument that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not explicitly protect sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. The decision makes the Second Circuit the second federal appellate court to rule that the protections of the Civil Rights Act should be extended to include sexual orientation. However, a third appeals court, the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta recently ruled that sexual orientation is not protected under Title VII. While the Supreme Court has denied to accept a writ application filed by the plaintiff in the Atlanta case, the decision by the Second Circuit, along with an earlier decision by the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, may be enough to prompt the Supreme Court to consider the issue.