August 13, 2020

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August 13, 2020

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination Covered Under Title IX

In Haley Videckis, et al. v. Ryan Weisenberg, et.al, Case No. CV 15-00298, a federal judge in California recently ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is covered by Title IX.  Although the Office for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education (“OCR”) had previously adopted this position in official guidance, Videckis marked the first time that a court had come to such a conclusion.

The Court ruled that claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX, not as a separate category of independent claims, but rather as part of gender stereotype discrimination and/or sex discrimination.  The Court stated that this conclusion closely follows the recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) decision, which held that sexual orientation discrimination is covered under Title VII.  The EEOC has ruled that it will treat sexual orientation discrimination claims the same as other sex discrimination claims under Title VII.

All schools and colleges should carefully review their Title IX policies and procedures in light of the Videckis decision to ensure that they address discrimination based on sexual orientation.

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 36

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About this Author

Jim Newberry, Government Relations, Attorney, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm
Member

Jim Newberry focuses his practice in the areas of higher education, government relations, and regulatory matters.  He recently served as Mayor of Lexington and has extensive leadership experience in the equine industry, legal service industry, state government and higher education.  Mr. Newberry is leader of the firm's Higher Education Team and serves as the Managing Member of the firm's Louisville, Kentucky office.

(859) 219-8226
Nelva Smith, Workers Compensation Attorney, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm
Associate

Nelva Smith practices in the area of labor and employment law.  Prior to receiving her Juris Doctorate, she was a legal assistant with Scott, Scriven & Wahoff LLP, and was a third party workers’ compensation claims adjuster.  Ms. Smith is experienced representing and defending employers against workers’ compensation claims and defending employers in OSHA matters throughout the United States, as well as charges filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

614-456-1656