The Harman Firm blog has run several stories over the past year about the evolving case law concerning sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Last week, a plaintiff in a sexual orientation discrimination case in the Eleventh Circuit, Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, requested that the United States Supreme Court take up the issue.
To recap: Title VII is one of the foundational federal anti-discrimination statutes; it protects employees against discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. Sexual orientation is not one of the protected statuses enumerated in Title VII. In 2016, however, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) – the federal agency tasked with administering Title VII – filed two lawsuits asserting sexual orientation discrimination claims under Title VII. This was a major change, as both the EEOC and nearly every federal court had previously taken the position that sexual orientation discrimination was not prohibited under Title VII.