Title VII protects against sexual orientation discrimination

Tennessee employees who identify as part of the LGBT community may be interested to learn that, on April 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that employers cannot discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation. This significant decision means that the court considers sexual orientation discrimination to be illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 even though sexual orientation is not specifically mentioned in that statute.

A former part-time professor sued Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana after she was allegedly denied a full-time teaching position due to her sexual orientation. The case had originally been dismissed by the district court because Title VII did not explicitly state that sexual orientation was a protected class. A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit later affirmed the original ruling. In response to this decision, the former professor requested an appeal with the entire panel of the 7th Circuit.

The Seventh Circuit then overturned the previous decision in an 8 to 3 ruling. Ultimately, the court argued that sexual orientation discrimination was a form of sex discrimination. In the opinion, the court held that previous Supreme Court decisions have maintained that LGBT employees have certain protections in the workplace and that employers cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without discriminating on the basis of a person's sex.

Workplace discrimination can prevent employees from being able to advance in their careers. If they are being discriminated against due to their sexual orientation, an employment attorney may assist with filing a lawsuit against the employer. In many cases, the attorney may negotiate with the employer to seek compensation for wages and other benefits the client lost.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Free Consultation

Get Started With Your Free, No-Obligation Consultation

Let us be clear when we say "you pay us nothing unless we win." Your relationship with our law firm begins with a free consultation. You meet directly with one of our experienced lawyers. When you become our client, we never ask you to open your checkbook. We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means our fee only comes from the proceeds from a successful verdict or settlement.

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

McCune Zenner Happell, PLLC The Parklane Building, 5200 Maryland Way Suite 120 Brentwood, TN 37027 Phone: 615-953-8337 Phone: 615-425-3476 Fax: 615-251-6958 Brentwood Law Office Map

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Nation's Premier NAFBA Top Ten Ranking 2014