Second Circuit Rules Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace Violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

On February 26, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that sexual orientation discrimination constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex, thus violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case in question involved an LGBT worker who sued his employer in 2010, alleging the employer terminated him due to his sexual orientation. The Second Circuit reasoned that anti-LGBT discrimination would not exist “but for” an individual’s sex, a trait which is protected from discrimination under Title VII. This decision overruled a lower court, as well as precedent from two other previous court cases. The case has been remanded to be litigated based of the Second Circuit’s interpretation of Title VII. Since the case was heard by all of the Second Circuit’s 13 judges (en banc), the Supreme Court remains the only route for a potential appeal.

Read the decision on Justia Law: Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc.

Read more on Justia’s Verdict: Take a Flying Leap: The Second Circuit Holds That Skydiving Instructor Can Sue for Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

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