A 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruling could have wide impacts for LGBTQ folks who believe they’ve been discriminated against in the workplace. While the ruling upheld it was still not against the law to discriminate against folks because of their sexuality, it did recognize sexuality under “sex” in line with anti-sex discrimination laws.
Check out more via The Washington Blade:
In a 15-page opinion, a three-judge panel on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously found precedent bars the court from concluding the global DDB Worldwide Communications Group illegally discriminated against Matthew Christiansen for being gay under the Title VII of the Civil Rights of Act.
The per curiam opinion found a district court handling the Christiansen v. Omnicom Group erred in its conclusion sexual-orientation discrimination constitutes sex discrimination under federal civil rights law, citing the 2000 decision in Simonton v. Runyon and the 2005 decision in Dawson v. Bumble & Bumble.
“Because we are ‘bound by the decisions of prior panels until such time as they are overruled either by an en banc panel of our Court or by the Supreme Court…it [is] ordinarily…neither appropriate nor possible for [a panel] to reverse an existing Circuit precedent,’” the decision says. “We thus lack the power to reconsider Simonton and Dawson.”
However, the court concluded Christiansen, who’s openly gay and HIV positive, made a compelling case he faced discrimination based on sex-stereotyping, which the U.S. Supreme Court determined is unlawful in the 1989 decision of Price Waterhouse v. Coopers.