Over the past year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been pursuing an expansive theory of sex discrimination, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that extends protection to sexual orientation and gender identity. As reported by Barada Associates, the EEOC clarified this new paradigm through its decision in the case of Complainant v. Foxx.
On March 1, 2016, it appears the EEOC took another step in attempting to enshrine these protections under law. On that day, the commission filed two lawsuits alleging sexual orientation discrimination, both of which are novel, “first of their kind” lawsuits that bear watching closely. To date, no federal circuit courts have adopted the EEOC’s interpretation of Title VII as it relates to sexual orientation discrimination. However, it’s evident that the EEOC intends to litigate its theory quite aggressively. Barada Associates will watch this issue as it develops and keep you informed.