- That sex and sexual orientation are inseparable. For example, if a female employee is reprimanded for having a picture on her desk of her female spouse, but a male employee is not reprimanded for having a picture of his female spouse on his desk, the female employee has been discriminated against because of her sex.
- That sexual orientation claimants are asserting prohibited associational discrimination. Historically, courts have held that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on an employees association with a member of a protected class. The EEOC held that the same logic applies to claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation. If a gay man is fired because he dates men, it is the fact the he is a man instead of a woman (his sex) that motivated the discrimination against him.
- That sexual orientation discrimination is often based on gender stereotypes, which is also prohibited. Both the EEOC and the courts have held that Title VII applies to disparate treatment resulting from gender stereotypes. The EEOC explained that discrimination based on sexual orientation is no different because it stems the desire to enforce heterosexually defined gender norms. The EEOC has used this same reasoning to hold that gender identity discrimination against transgender individuals is illegal gender stereotyping prohibited by Title VII.
- Senior Counsel
Dorraine Larison concentrates her practice in the areas of bankruptcy law, debtor/creditor law, and employment law. She has extensive experience in the areas of commercial financing, creditors’ rights, and creditor ...
The information contained in this post is provided to alert you to legal developments and should not be considered legal advice. It is not intended to and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Specific questions about how this information affects your particular situation should be addressed to one of the individuals listed. No representations or warranties are made with respect to this information, including, without limitation, as to its completeness, timeliness, or accuracy, and Lathrop GPM shall not be liable for any decision made in connection with the information. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.