Monday, January 11, 2016

EEOC makes the case for Title VII prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination

Last week, the EEOC filed an amicus brief in an Eleventh Circuit case, Burrows v. The College of Central Florida. You can read the EEOC's brief here.

In its brief, the EEOC lays out its argument that "Sexual orientation is cognizable as sex discrimination under Title VII." The headings from its brief:
A. Sexual orientation discrimination necessarily involves sex stereotyping, in violation of Title VII 
B. Sexual orientation discrimination constitutes associational discrimination that violates Title VII 
C. Sexual orientation discrimination is, by definition, discrimination “because of . . . sex,” in violation of Title VII. 
D. The contrary cases on which the district court relied are not persuasive authority
I think the EEOC is fighting an uphill battle here, but I guess we'll see. Homosexual employees have had some success arguing the "gender stereotyping" theory. For an example from the Third Circuit, see Prowel v. Wise Business Forms, Inc. (prior Lawffice Space coverage here).