Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

EEOC rules: Federal law bans discrimination against GL federal workers
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2015-07-17

This article shared 1984 times since Fri Jul 17, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In a decision could provide important remedies to thousands of LGBT federal workers who might face sexual orientation discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled Thursday ( July 15 ) that existing federal law prohibits employment discrimination against federal workers based on sexual orientation.

Lambda Legal hailed the ruling as a "landmark" decision, saying it "authoritatively recognizes that federal workers mistreated because of their sexual orientation have a claim under Title VII." Lambda added that the decision could have a positive impact for LGBT employees beyond the federal workplace.

"This ruling is likely to have enormous positive effects because EEOC interpretations of Title VII are highly persuasive to the courts," said Lambda Employment Fairness Strategist Greg Nevins. "Given the clarity and logic of this opinion, most courts are likely to stop simply referring to old, illogical rulings about Title VII coverage. A few may disagree, but most probably will be guided by the Commission's straightforward approach."

President Clinton signed an executive order in 1998 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation against federal civilian employees. And last April, President Obama added a prohibition against gender identity discrimination and discrimination by federal contractors.

"The EEOC decision," explained Nevins, "affords a concrete remedy directly to the aggrieved party, i.e., the usual remedies available under Title VII. Under the President's Executive Order, discrimination could result in significant penalties for the employer/government contractor, but wouldn't directly result in the target of discrimination being made whole."

The decision is one that has been in the making at EEOC for some time. Last October, the EEOC filed a brief in a Seventh Circuit federal appeals court case, arguing that the EEOC and an increasing number of courts have recognized that "intentional discrimination" based on sexual orientation "can be proved to be grounded in sex-based norms, preferences, expectations, or stereotypes."

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who files a discrimination complaint.

In the current EEOC case, Complainant v. Anthony Foxx, an air traffic control supervisor ( who was not publicly identified by name ) asserted that he was fired in retaliation for filing a complaint that he had been passed over for a promotion because he was gay.

The employee filed a complaint three years ago after being fired from his position as a Supervisory Air Traffic Control Specialist at Miami International's control tower. He said he was fired in retaliation for filing a complaint alleging he was passed over for a promotion because he was gay. But the Equal Employment Opportunity office of the Federal Aviation Administration dismissed his complaint.

The July 15 decision by the EEOC did not determine whether the employee's FAA supervisors had, in fact, discriminated against the employee based on his sexual orientation; rather it sent that question back to the FAA, directing it to process it as an EEO complaint.

In doing so, the EEOC decision states that "Title VII's prohibition of sex discrimination means that employers may not 'rely upon sex-based considerations' or take gender into account when making employment decisions….This applies equally in claims brought by lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals under Title VII."

"A complainant alleging that an agency took his or her sexual orientation into account in an employment action necessarily alleges that the agency took his or her sex into account," states the decision.

"Title VII similarly prohibits employers from treating an employee or applicant differently than other employees or applicants based on the fact that such individuals are in a same-sex marriage or because the employee has a personal association with someone of a particular sex," wrote the commission.

But as important as the ruling in Complainant v. Anthony Foxx is, it does not compensate for the lack of explicit language in federal law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination.

Long-time gay legal activist Evan Wolfson of the national Freedom to Marry project noted that the current Employment Non-Discrimination Act ( ENDA ) in Congress seeks to prohibit discrimination not just in employment but also in housing, public accommodations, education and federal funding. The EEOC decision provides "avoids uncertainty that makes it more difficult for both individuals and employers."

Nevins agrees.

"Even if this [EEOC] decision was adopted by every court and carried out to a natural conclusion, it still wouldn't accomplish what ENDA is trying to do there."

And Nevins said the EEOC would "absolutely" help persuade Congress to move forward with ENDA and influence courts.

The EEOC decision itself notes, "Some courts have also relied on the fact that Congress has debated but not yet passed legislation explicitly providing protections for sexual orientation."

"But the Supreme Court has ruled that '[c]ongressional inaction lacks persuasive significance because several equally tenable inferences may be drawn from such inaction, including the inference that the existing legislation already incorporated the offered change.'"

"This historic ruling by the EEOC makes clear they agree workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, much like gender identity, is illegal," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a statement released Thursday. "While an important step, it also highlights the need for a comprehensive federal law permanently and clearly banning LGBT discrimination beyond employment to all areas of American life. Such a law would send a clear and permanent signal that discrimination against LGBT people will not be tolerated under any circumstances in this country, and we remain fully committed to making that happen."

A 2014 report by the Office of Personnel Management indicated there are 4.2 million U.S. federal employees worldwide. A 2012 survey indicated that about two percent ( 84,000 ) of the federal workforce identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

© 2015 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

Related press release at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/EEOC-Lesbians-and-gays-are-protected-from-job-bias-under-Title-VII/52183.html .


This article shared 1984 times since Fri Jul 17, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LGBTQ+ youth advocates call for action after increased bullying reports 2021-11-24
- Officials from LGBTQ+-advocacy organizations Equality Illinois, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Rainbow Cafe and Youth Outlook announced a sharp increase in the number of bullying incidents directed against LGBTQ+ students across ...


Gay News

HHS acts to prevent discrimination, strengthen civil rights 2021-11-19
--From a press release - Washington D.C. — Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced actions to further ...


Gay News

"Safe Schools For All" to help students take action against bullying 2021-11-17
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — As schools and school districts across the country face hostile protests of LGBTQI+ inclusive education, students who are experiencing discrimination, bullying and harassment based on their sexual orientation ...


Gay News

More than a quarter of LGBT state, local employees face discrimination at work 2021-11-16
--From a Williams Institute press release - More than one-quarter of LGBT state and local employees have experienced discrimination at work About half of LGBT people who work in education and law enforcement are not out to their supervisors Over 600,000 LGBT employees ...


Gay News

New study reveals disparities for LGBTQ+ seniors 2021-10-07
- Although many LGBTQ+ seniors have lived through the arc of the LGBTQ-rights movement, they are nevertheless often forgotten in conversations about discrimination. A new study is shedding light on that omission. AARP Illinois and SAGE Research's ...


Gay News

Born Perfect, Enfranchisement release all-star video combating conversion therapy 2021-10-06
--From a press release. Video below - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — BOBBY'S BIG PROBLEM, produced by Born Perfect and Enfranchisement, was released today digitally, featuring a celebrity cast, including Patton Oswalt, D'Arcy Carden, Jasika Nicole, and RB Butcher. The video tells the stor ...


Gay News

LGBTQ blood donation discrimination assessed, PULSE shootings cited 2021-09-21
--From a press release - Chicago, Ill. — Last week, Reps. Mike Quigley (IL-05), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15) received a ...


Gay News

One in ten LGBT workers experienced discrimination at work in the last year 2021-09-07
- LGBT employees of color were more likely to report being denied jobs and verbal harassment A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds an estimated 46% of LGBT workers have experienced ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-TGNC vote, #VeryGayRaptor, Brazilian governor, Scottish poll 2021-09-05
- In Australia, the government voted down workplace protections for transgender, non-binary and intersex people, OutInPerth.com reported. The senate was considering the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment ...


Gay News

Ukraine president promises to fight for LGBTQ rights 2021-09-02
- On Sept. 1, the president of Ukraine said his country will continue to fight anti-LGBTQ discrimination, The Washington Blade reported. "With U.S. support, Ukraine will continue to advance respect for human rights, civil liberties and fundamental ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation to prevent hair discrimination in schools 2021-08-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO - On Aug. 13, Gov. JB Pritzker signed Senate Bill 817 into law, prohibiting schools from issuing policies on hairstyles historically associated with race or ethnicity. The legislation addresses injustices in dress code polices and ...


Gay News

Bill would expose schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students 2021-07-29
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) and Representatives Chris Pappas (NH-1), Sharice Davids (KS-3), and Mondaire Jones (NY-17) introduced the Exposing Discrimination in ...


Gay News

VIEWS U.S. Senators: It's time to act against anti-LGBTQ discrimination 2021-07-28
- Georgia has had the eyes of the nation on it for some time now. It's just over five years since people across Georgia braced themselves as lawmakers sent sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation to the desk of then-Governor ...


Gay News

Research: LGBTQ people of color meet more discrimination, Equality Act an urgent need 2021-07-21
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Discrimination inflicts profoundly greater harm on LGBTQ people of color in a wide range of areas, according to recent analysis of scholarly research released by the National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for ...


Gay News

WORLD Poland march, Google's donation, Ireland incidents, True Colors 2021-06-20
- In Poland, thousands marched through central Warsaw on June 19 in an "Equality Parade" demanding an end to discrimination against the LGBT community—amid what campaigners said has been a rising tide of homophobia in the country ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.