A Texas federal court’s invalidation of the Obama administration’s controversial expansion of overtime pay for white collar workers and divergent rulings by two federal circuit courts over whether federal anti-discrimination law covers sexual orientation bias were among the highlights of 2017 for employment law observers. Here, Law360 looks back at five of the year’s seminal court cases.
In a landmark opinion Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit became the first federal appellate court in the country to extend the protections afforded by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
An Illinois college professor alleging anti-gay bias told the Seventh Circuit on Wednesday that her employer misread a recent ruling in the Eleventh Circuit that Title VII doesn't protect against sexual orientation discrimination, the same day that an ad agency being sued by a gay executive notified the Second Circuit about that same ruling.
During a rare en banc hearing Wednesday debating whether the Civil Rights Act protects against job discrimination based on sexual orientation, several Seventh Circuit judges indicated they could be ready to make the court the first in the nation to include the ban in the act's coverage.
On Wednesday, the full Seventh Circuit will consider whether Title VII protects workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, months after a seemingly reluctant panel ruled that the Civil Rights Act offers no such protection.
The Seventh Circuit set aside its own ruling that Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation discrimination on Tuesday as the full court agreed to rehear a case that a lesbian professor brought against an Indiana college after she was repeatedly passed over for a promotion.
A woman whose suit against an Indiana community college has become a symbol of the struggle over protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation asked the Seventh Circuit for a rehearing en banc Thursday with the support of several members of the U.S. Congress and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Seventh Circuit has ruled that Title VII's protections don't extend to sexual orientation, but the court's apparent displeasure in upholding precedent and the shifting public opinion toward gay rights makes clear the issue is destined for Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday that existing civil rights laws do not protect against sexual orientation discrimination, though judges appeared strongly conflicted over what they called an "illogical" legal structure.