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

By Michelle E. Phillips and Paul Patten
  • October 14, 2016

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. Please contact Jackson Lewis if you have any questions about this or other workplace developments.

©2016 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

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