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Seventh Circuit to Reconsider Title VII Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, has vacated the July 28, 2016, decision of a Seventh Circuit three-judge panel holding that sexual orientation discrimination is not sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and granted rehearing en banc (by the full court). Rehearing an issue already decided by a smaller panel is rare. This may indicate a majority of the judges on the Court found flaw in the initial ruling.

The Court also announced on October 11, 2016, that oral argument for the rehearing is scheduled for November 30, 2016.

In Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, No. 15-1720 (7th Cir. July 28, 2016), a three-judge panel said circuit precedent compelled its ruling, even though it found merit for Title VII coverage for persons discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. (See our article, Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Not Protected by Title VII, Federal Court Rules.)

We will monitor and provide an update after a final Seventh Circuit decision. 

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About this Author

Michelle E. Phillips, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Principal

Michelle E. Phillips is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She handles various types of employment litigation, with an emphasis on sexual harassment matters.

Ms. Phillips also counsels clients on a variety of labor and employment matters concerning federal and state employment laws. She frequently conducts and advises clients on internal investigations and leads employment discrimination and sexual harassment seminars and in-house diversity training programs for clients.

914-328-0404
Paul Patten, Employment, Management, Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Paul Patten is a Principal in the Chicago, Illinois, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He represents management in employment cases in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies.

Mr. Patten’s practice focuses primarily on employment litigation and counseling. He represents employers in federal and state individual and class-based lawsuits covering a wide range of statutes and subjects, including federal and state anti-discrimination and wage and hour laws.

312-803-2570