Under Federal law, there are no specific prohibitions on discrimination of homosexual and transgender individuals based on their sexuality. But the EEOC is expanding interpretation of existing anti-discrimination understanding.
An FAA employee alleged that he had been passed over for a permanent position at its Miami facility because of hissexual orientation. The FAA argued that the employee's sexual orientation did not constitute a protected status under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The employee appealed that decision to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation is discrimination on the basis of sex, which is already protected under the Civil Rights Act. It further clarified that discrimination based on sexual orientation relies on stereotypical sex roles, the very thing the Civil Rights Act set out to end.
It's worth noting that the EEOC can't change laws, and their decisions do not bind the courts. However, they do bind Federal agencies and can help persuade federal courts when the time comes for a key ruling. And, if enough other courts take the same view, the matter may one day make it to the Supreme Court, where a ruling will be the final word on the issue.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.
Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.