Employers look to ‘culture of inclusiveness’ in era of expanding LGBT rights

September 17, 2017 1 COMMENTS

Inclusiveness, civility, respectful treatment: Those are all concepts getting a lot of attention as employers struggle to cope with what seems like an increasingly divisive culture often threatening to bleed over into the workplace.  Diversity Team Community Group of People Concept

A changing legal landscape also must be considered as employers strive for productive and nondiscriminatory working environments. For example, a landmark ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that sexual orientation is a protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also sees Title VII as encompassing sexual orientation and gender identity. Also, many state legislatures have passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Stage is set for SCOTUS to rule on Title VII and sexual orientation

September 17, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Ryan B. Frazier

Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, state and federal laws have been enacted to prohibit employment discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, and gender. Until recently, virtually none of those antidiscrimination laws covered employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Over the last decade, as issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity have moved to the forefront of social consciousness, several states and certain federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), have started to recognize and address employment discrimination in that context.  Supreme Court

Recognition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has not been universal. Federal law is not resolved on the issue, and recent federal circuit court rulings have further complicated things. This article focuses on the recent appellate court rulings and how they are changing the employment discrimination landscape under federal law.

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EEOC maintains steady position on transgender employees’ rights

June 18, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by JW Furman

With all the attention given to President Donald Trump’s recent removal of the Obama administration’s protection for transgender bathroom access, it’s important to remember that the action applies only to public school students. For employers, the issue remains as unsettled as ever.  EEOC-jpg

There’s no reason to believe that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will soften its stand on any transgender issue unless it is required to by the president or the court. The EEOC is strongly committed to its enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex or gender. Its interpretation has long been that gender stereotyping and gender identity discrimination are prohibited by Title VII. With the support of President Barack Obama, the agency became more aggressive about advocating transgender issues, but its general philosophy and long-standing interpretation of Title VII didn’t change.

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VA student’s transgender bathroom case will not pass ‘Go’ . . . yet

May 14, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Rachael L. Loughlin

Transgender issues continue to be one of the hottest areas of the law today. Recent actions by the Trump administration backing away from the Obama administration’s forceful advocacy of transgender rights may have come as no surprise. Nonetheless, they certainly didn’t help clarify the law. In fact, if anything, the Trump administration’s backtracking has made things even more uncertain by pitting the interpretation of federal law banning sex discrimination in schools (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972) against federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and by delaying critical guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court in a Virginia transgender student’s case.  All Gender Restroom

Issue in Grimm’s lawsuit

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U.S. Supreme Court to consider transgender restroom lawsuit

January 15, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Ryan B. Frazier

During the 1990s, Saturday Night Live, a popular TV sketch comedy show, featured a recurring gender-ambiguous character, Pat. The gag in Pat’s comedy sketches often involved others’ failed attempts to determine the seemingly androgynous character’s gender. The skits played off the then-prevailing view that a person’s gender falls into one of two categories: male or female.  Gender transition concept

Society’s view of gender has evolved significantly since then. The rigid dichotomy of a two-gender world view is frequently challenged and, in some cases, rejected outright. As society’s views on gender morph, the law is attempting to keep pace.

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What’s gender identity got to do with work?

December 18, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Amanda M. JonesGender Identity

From Bruce Jenner’s announcement that he was transitioning to become a woman named “Caitlyn” to North Carolina’s passage of a so-called bathroom bill requiring schools and public agencies to restrict bathroom use to the facility corresponding to a person’s biological sex at birth, gender identity issues have become the subject of significant policy debate, lawsuits, and mainstream conversation. Gender identity is also increasingly becoming a more prevalent issue in our workplaces.

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Target to spend millions on single-stall bathrooms

December 18, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Ryan Olson

Target recently announced that employees and customers at its stores may use the public restroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Now, amid criticism of its transgender bathroom policy by some customers, the company has said that it will spend $20 million to make single-stall bathrooms available in every store. Target Logo on Shopping Cart

Controversial policy. In an effort to reiterate its inclusive environment and experience, Target announced in April 2016 that its employees and customers may “use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” Target’s new policy was met with mixed results, however. For example, a conservative Christian organization has collected more than 1.4 million signatures from people promising to boycott Target in response to its restroom policy. Nonetheless, other retailers have echoed Target’s bathroom policy.

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How do ‘bathroom bills’ affect employers in other states?

October 16, 2016 0 COMMENTS

U.S. Supreme Court puts transgender bathroom case on hold

August 09, 2016 4 COMMENTS

by Rachael L. Loughlin

The case of the Gloucester County, Virginia, transgender high-school student fighting to use the restroom that matches his gender identity has been making its way through the federal court system for more than a year. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the matter, adding yet another twist to the high-profile case.  Transgender Sign

A recap of the lawsuit

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EEOC issues bathroom guidelines for transgender employees

July 17, 2016 0 COMMENTS
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