Those reading the newspapers know that the Supreme Court recently ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender status is discrimination based on sex. Why is this so? As I have argued for many years, an employer can’t act on the basis of sexual orientation or gender status without first making judgments about sex. Or as the Court put it, “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
The Court also discussed causation at length. It emphatically rejected the notion that but-for causation means sole cause, primary cause, dominant cause or anything of the sort. All that is required is that the prohibited criterion made a difference.
If their heart calls them to service, if they are prepared to fight, bleed and die for the Country, their Country should welcome their service and praise their patriotism. It’s that simple. Donald Trump is the last person on Earth to judge those prepared to lay down their lives in military service. He is an abominable, cruel sadist who never had the courage or patriotism to serve himself.
The Hon. Cathy Bissoon, District Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, has just held: “There is no more obvious form of sex stereotyping than making a determination that a person should conform to heterosexuality. As the EEOC states, “[d]iscriminating against a person because of the sex of that person’s romantic partner necessarily involves stereotypes about ‘proper’ roles in sexual relationships – that men are and should only be sexually attracted to women, not men.” (Doc. 16) at 11-12. This discriminatory evil is more than reasonably comparable to the evil identified by the Supreme Court in Price Waterhouse. Indeed, the Court finds discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is, at its very core, sex stereotyping plain and simple; there is no line separating the two. Contra Prowel, 579 F.3d at 291 (“[T]he line between sexual orientation discrimination and discrimination “because of sex” can be difficult to draw.”). It is, in the view of the undersigned, a distinction without a difference. Forcing an employee to fit into a gendered expectation – whether that expectation involves physical traits, clothing, mannerisms or sexual attraction –constitutes sex stereotyping and, under Price Waterhouse, violates Title VII. Simply put, Mr. McClendon’s alleged conduct toward Mr. Baxley “stemmed from an impermissibly cabined view of the proper behavior” of men. Price Waterhouse, 490 U.S. at 236-37. *** That someone can be subjected to a barrage of insults, humiliation, hostility and/or changes to the terms and conditions of their employment, based upon nothing more than the aggressor’s view of what it means to be a man or a woman, is exactly the evil Title VII was designed to eradicate. Because this Court concludes that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a subset of sexual stereotyping and thus covered by Title VII’s prohibitions on discrimination “because of sex,” Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the EEOC’s Complaint fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted will be denied.” EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, No. 16-225 (W.D.Pa.).
Pittsburgh employment lawyer Charles A. Lamberton. Representing employees in discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment and wrongful termination cases for more than 15 years. High end representation for high end cases and clients. Contact us today.