Avila & Shaddow Attorneys at Law
Call For A Free Consultation
818-676-9658 / 866-450-4LAW
Se Habla Español
Menu Contact
Aggressive Protection of Your Rights Under The Law

Court rules that sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited

The state of California has laws that protect employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, but it is only one of 22 jurisdictions that do so. On April 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, this is a type of sex discrimination and is prohibited.

It is the first time that a full federal appellate court has recognized discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as falling under Title VII although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has long taken this position. Only a week earlier, another court ruled that a gay employee in Georgia was not protected from workplace discrimination.

In the case that led to the April 4 ruling, a woman argued that she was not given a full-time position at her place of employment because she was a lesbian. Both a district court and a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit ruled that she was not part of a protected class. The 8 to 3 ruling by the entire panel overturned these decisions, however.

In its opinion, the court relied on previous Supreme Court rulings to reach its conclusion and wrote that it is impossible to separate discrimination based on sexual orientation from sex discrimination. It is likely that a similar case will eventually reach the Supreme Court.

Ensuring that one is a member of a protected class may be one of the first steps in dealing with harassment and discrimination at work. Race, religion, and natural origin are all among the classes that receive federal protection from discrimination and harassment, and California offers additional protection to other classes. Another consideration is how to document the harassment. People might want to discuss these issues with an attorney so that they understand their rights even if they plan to try to resolve the issue internally.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Avila & Shaddow

We offer an initial consultation at no charge. Please call our office at 818-676-9658 or 866-450-4LAW. You may also contact our attorneys via email using the form below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Avila & Shaddow Attorneys at Law

Southern California
21800 Oxnard Street
Suite 1180 - Penthouse
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Phone: 818-676-9658
Fax: 818-337-7265
Map & Directions

  • LACBA Los Angels Country Bar Association
  • Rated By Super Lawyers Mark S. Avila
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • Avvo Ratings Excellent Top Attorney Employment Law
  • Consumer Attorneys Association Of Los Angels Sustaining Member
  • AV Preeminent Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence