There is a chance that the gay and lesbian community might not have to wait for The Equality Act to be signed into law to at least be protected against the abuse of job discrimination.
Yesterday the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed two lawsuits alleging that two companies engaged in anti-gay discrimination in violation of the sex discrimination ban in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The EEOC is suing Pallet Companies in Maryland, alleging the company discriminated against a lesbian employee “by subjecting her to harassment” which resulted in her being fired. The company is also accused of retaliating against the employee when she made a complaint.
The other case involves Scott Medical Health Center in Pennsylvania. It is alleged that the company subjected a gay employee “to a sexually hostile work environment” and effectively fired him by failing to address the issue.
In 2014, the EEOC filed lawsuits alleging that anti-trans discrimination is barred under Title VII, a finding with which the Obama administration agreed.
Although the Justice Department has not explicitly supported the EEOC on the issue of sexual orientation discrimination, earlier this year it declined to seek outright dismissal of a lawsuit based on the argument.
Last month, we reported that the EEOC urged a federal appeals court to rule in favor of a lesbian who claims she was fired by a Florida college because she married a woman.
“With the filing of these two suits, EEOC is continuing to solidify its commitment to ensuring that individuals are not discriminated against in workplaces because of their sexual orientation,” said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. “While some federal courts have begun to recognize this right under Title VII, it is critical that all courts do so.”
You can read the complaints by hitting the links below:
Special thanks to Kathleen Perrin of the Equality Case Files