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EEOC Takes Action; Files Cases Claiming Sex Orientation Discrimination is Sex Discrimination

by Hayley Miller March 02, 2016

Yesterday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made history by filing two separate cases challenging sexual orientation discrimination as sex discrimination.

“In its suit against Scott Medical Health Center, EEOC charged that a gay male employee was subjected to harassment because of his sexual orientation,” the EEOC explained. “In its suit against IFCO Systems, EEOC charged that a lesbian employee was harassed by her supervisor because of her sexual orientation.”

Last year, the EEOC determined in Baldwin v. Foxx that sexual orientation discrimination in sex discrimination, thus workers are protected under Title VII from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2012, the EECO determined in Macy v. Holder that gender identity discrimination is sex discrimination.

While these are the first two sexual orientation cases to be filed by the EEOC, the agency has been active in supporting LGBT workers, filing an amicus brief on the same subject in January and ruling in April that restricting restroom access can be discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2014, the EEOC filed two gender identity cases in federal court. 

HRC applauds the EEOC for taking this tremendous step and for its continuous support in protecting LGBT workers.

Hayley Miller
Hayley Miller


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