A federal appeals court has ruled that employers are not banned from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation. A three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that the 1964 Title VII does NOT protect against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah was sued by former employee, Jameka Evans, for discriminating against her and forced out of her job.
Attorney Greg Nevins said,
“This is not the end of the road for us and certainly not for Jameka. There is no way to draw a line between sexual orientation discrimination and discrimination based on gender nonconformity because not being straight is gender-nonconforming, period.”
The panel voted 2-1 to state that Title VII, which does protect for a number of factors, does not include sexual orientation. The case was one of two in federal appeals courts, brought by Lambda Legal, which could have bolstered LGBT rights in the workplace if it was successful.
In July, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit against Ivy Tech Community College. But after Kimberly Hively appealed the July decision to throw out the case, now a full panel of the court will hear the case.
The court heard that Hively was told an administrator at her previous school back in 2009 that she had been seen “sucking face” when she kissed her girlfriend goodbye. The full 7th Circuit decision is yet to be announced.